“Evillllllll” yells Mermaid Man on an episode of a popular cartoon known as SpongeBob Squarepants. Whether one is familiar with this cartoon or not, everyone knows for a fact that evil is everywhere. Evil is found in almost anyone, and it does not just exist in modern times. The concept of Evil has been around for centuries and even dating back to Biblical times. In fact, a Christian would believe that evil for humans first took place when the serpent crept into the garden and tempted Eve to eat of the fruit from the tree (Genesis 3). Christians believe that ever since Adam and Eve sinned against God, evil and sin has been inescapable. The Merriam-Webster dictionary states that evil is being morally reprehensible, wicked, causing discomfort, harm or marked by misfortune. If this describes evil, can evil be seen in works of literature? What leads to evil in a man? What are the similar consequences of evil in man? The theme of evil being in every man Is comparatively represented in “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathanial Hawthorne, “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson, and “The Tell-tale Heart” by Edgar Allen Poe.
For an author to portray the theme on the duality of man, in which both evil and good exist, he must use certain tools. Tools to create the theme, range from the author’s diction and the issues in the story to the characters and settings. The most obvious tool authors use in stories is the title. The title is most often used as a foreshadow and allows the reader to get an idea of what the story may be about. At the same time, the reader may become curious about a deeper description of the literature. At first glance, the reader of “Young Goodman Brown” may assume that the st...
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...er changed. After he strayed away from his faith and became deceived, he ignored everyone who was in his life. He believed everyone was the opposite of what they said they were and distanced himself from everyone. Hawthorne explains that Young Goodman Brown no longer was the happy, youthful Christian man, but rather a “sad, a darkly meditative, [and] distrustful man” who had “no hopeful verse” on his tombstone (495). Death being a result of evil in man is seen in Stevenson’s story when Dr. Jekyll becomes overpowered by the malevolent Mr. Hyde. The threats that Dr. Jekyll so long ignored about the potion now affected him, and he was later found dead on the floor of his laboratory (Stevenson 41). Comparatively, evil in the narrator of “The Tell-tale Heart” leads to death, but not himself. His psychotic actions lead to the death of a harmless, decent, old man (Poe 672).
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