Reputation plays a blinding role in separating evil from good. Based on society’s depiction of ideals, the nature of man is looked past, constituting morality through the lens of societal construct. While civilization opposes savagery, each individual houses the duality of good and evil – evil being the domineering force. In Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, evil men masquerade behind their reputation in society, while self-perception allows ego to override moral bounds. Without societal input in configuring our moral compass, we lose the ability to navigate our two sides, turning to a primitive state; an innate evil.
While Irving may poke fun at the idea of a simplistic moral, a clear maxim that one can easily digest, he nevertheless infuses his work with a message. If any “moral” could be taken from “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” it is that there are some places where reason cannot guide us. The possibility of a place where reason and rationality are no longer useful is a direct and sharp critique of the ideals of the Enlightenment. Through his “tools of the trade” as a storyteller, Irving effectively denounces the limits of Enlightenment thinking, and opens the door for the possibilities of Romanticism and the Gothic.
“No evil dooms us hopelessly except the evil we love, and desire to continue in, and make no effort to escape from.” A rather straight forward quote from George Eliot, yet, one in which with its simplicity describes Christopher Marlowe’s The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus well. It’s not the evil which dooms us but our own lack of desire, and will to stop. That which is evil is our doom us. Written in a time when anything not of the church was considered wrong Marlowe is able to bring out the views and attitudes of the time while ascribing the human condition with its wants, and its sometimes fatal after decisions. Marlowe’s piece “The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus” is written with the human condition in mind with his use of angels and his petrels of the struggles Faustus goes through with regret and repentance Marlowe portrays the inner struggle we go through in out attempts to rationalize and make decisions with his use of a good and evil angel.
It had the effect of a spell, taking her out of the ordinary relations with humanity, and enclosing her in a sphere by herself” (Hawthorne 37). Accordingly, the author establishes his connection to Hester by expressing his relation to alienation. The author confides that a man like himself with puritan values is not easily inclined to reveal sin that is hidden within his own... ... middle of paper ... ...falsehood depicts dismissal of wrongdoing and foreignness of sin, when in reality, error organically births forth in human nature. The author's lack of resolve adds a conundrum to the way of salvation; therefore suggesting that man is ultimately doomed due to his sinful nature. Unceasingly, several characters in the novel portray this conflict as they seek to evoke redemption and gain acceptance.
How is one intended to view this compelling characterization of Satan and to land upon some kind of moral judgment of his nature? Milton chooses Satan as the protagonist of his work as he desires to challenge society’s understanding of him. He transforms the ultimate evil into a tragic heroic figure, more convincing than God, Adam, Eve, and God’s son. Through turning on its head society’s preconceived notions of human nature, Milton shows that challenging authority is an intrinsic and necessary facet of our humanity. The traditional image of Satan is that of a destroyer, tempter, and all-around malevolent being, possessing no sympathetic qualities.
As a result, the line between sanity and insanity becomes blurred, which paves the way for the Narrator's own descent into madness. Fear: If we were to try to define Roderick Usher's illness precisely, we might diagnose him with acute anxiety. What seems to terrify Usher is fear itself. "To an anomalous species of terror," Poe writes, "I found him a bounden slave." Usher tries to explain to the Narrator that he dreads "the events of the future, not in themselves but in their results."
The Fear in the House of Usher The short story, The Fall of the House of Usher, uses a rational first person narrator to illustrate the strange effects the house has on the three characters within it. Everything about the house is dark and supernaturally evil, and appears to convey some fear that is driving its occupants insane. The narrator enters the story as a man with a lot of common sense and is very critical of the superstitious Usher, but he himself senses these same powers only he tries to escape the reality of the phenomena by reasoning or focusing on something else. Edgar Allen Poe, the author of this short story, is trying to show through the narrator that the denial of our fears can lead to insanity, much the same way it has already turned Usher insane and is slowly but surely acting upon the narrator. The House of Usher is described by the narrator in the beginning of the story as having life-like characteristics suggesting that the narrator is already receiving supernatural feelings from the house.
Poe uses an unnamed narrator to explain the emotions the house gave him, but no words could amount to how horrifying the house was. The narrator felt gloom. Poe’s continuance use of dark diction “dreary, dark, gloom, and dull” creates a mood of horror in “The Fall of the House of Usher”. The setting is everything in story like Wilson stated, "The setting... plays an integral part in the story because it establishes an atmosphere of dreariness and decay"(page 55). The dreariness was the darkness Poe mentioned that fell upon the house of usher.
Morals, education, helping and unselfishness are the Jekyll side of us. Stevenson believed that people knew they had a bad side, but they all refuse to accept the truth, as the ‘dark side’ is so unpleasant. The novel demonstrates how innocent curiosity about the darker elements of our nature can soon get out of hand, how the evil triumphs over good if let out of control. Stevenson portrays duality in almost all of his characters, mainly Dr. Henry Jekyll. The symbols used, the narrative viewpoints and the language use by Stevenson also puts forward the dual nature of man.
It is then Conrad's goal to lead the reader through vagueness and pessimism to a conclusive void. The novel's conclusion ultimately portrays existential nihilism, where Kurtz's last words confirm the world's meaninglessness and Marlow becomes more like the pessimistic Kurtz by the lie told to Kurtz's Intended. Although Conrad himself may not essentially be nihilistic, his novel contains a dark nihilistic truth: the world is without meaning or purpose. The Jungle setting through which Marlow travels is as ominous as the events of the novel. Marlow's exploration of a blank space (22) turns out to be a place of incomprehensible darkness containin... ... middle of paper ... ... Works cited and consulted Conrad, Joseph.