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Friday, September 29, 2006

The Devil in the Forest

How do you think Nathaniel Hawthorne would define "evil" based on "Young Goodman Brown"? Do you think Miller would agree with his definition?

35 Comments:

Blogger Milt G said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:16 AM  
Blogger clay w said...

I think that their views of evil are very similar. They both portray evil in their stories as relative, based solely on the viewpoints of others. In the Crucible, many people portray evil in different ways. Proctor is considered evil in the eyes of Parris and Hathorne because he goes against the church. Abigail is seen as a little "angel" by Parris and other high authorities. Just the opposite, she is seen as evil and manipulative by Proctor and Hale. In the same way, Young Goodman Brown portrays evil as relative. What one character thinks is evil may not be evil to another, and the author does not blatantly express his view and rather lets the reader figure out for his or herself what is evil and what is good.

9:17 AM  
Blogger Lauren F. said...

I think that Nathanial Hawthorne would describe evil as what you hear in the wind. In "Young Goodman Brown", Brown is in the forest and the wind is blowing a lot and he hears the voices in the wind that are talking to him. Evil can also be defined as guilt. If someone is guilty of something, they have a constant fear of a consequence that will come back to haunt them and often people think that events are evil happening to them because of their guilt.

9:17 AM  
Blogger kaitlinb said...

Nathaniel Hawthorne portrays the evil that he thinks his Great- Great Grandfather was a part of. I think that he added the moral side of evil as well as the emotional side that makes Millers book so touching to a person. The greater conflict of evil is that it is an opinion and what is evil to one person is not to another and I believe the evil in Hawthorne’s story is portrayed in a way that it can only be seen as evil, where as Millers evil is an opinion until all the deaths take place.

9:18 AM  
Blogger BessieS said...

Nathaniel Hawthorne might define “evil” as something that takes one’s soul away and torments them not only physically but mentally too. When Goodman Brown says, “May Faith is lost” Hawthorne would interpret that as an evil because he could be talking literally about his wife or he could mean that his faith is lost in God. Either way it is torturing him because without his faith he doesn’t know where to go or what to do and that is evil in the most hurtful way. I think Miller would agree that “evil” is something that takes one’s soul away but I don’t think that he would agree that losing your “faith” is evil.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Natalie M said...

I think Hawthorn Would define Evil as something deep inside a person that you cannot change witout great trouble. in the play hawthorn tells the people that that if they confess to their bad deeds they will be punished but not killed. the "evil" in them will just go away when they turn back to god.

9:19 AM  
Blogger nathan a said...

Nathaniel Hawthorne obviously sees evil in everyone. One of the key points of “Young Goodman Brown” was that even those who appear good, even those who think that they are good, are truly evil at the core. He criticizes that the only difference between the Puritans and the rest of the world is that Puritans think that they have better behavior, but in actuality they are among the ranks of evil. I think that to him it doesn’t matter as much whether or not evil is bad, because the reality is that “(to the devil) the world is given.” I think Arthur Miller has a similar, but less pessimistic view of evil. He probably knows that even those who claim to be good have their dark secrets, but he probably wouldn’t go as far as saying that a good life was impossible. He believes that there are good preachers, and good people.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Anoel said...

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9:19 AM  
Blogger JordanL said...

I think Nathaniel Hawthorne sees evil in everything. I think he believes that everyone, even the best and most high class people are evil or have some sort of evil in them but some of your perceptions of evil come from others. I don't think Miller would agree with this definition of everyone being evil. I think that Miller thinks everyone has good intent on them through some of his characters like Proctor.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Spencer Z said...

It is my belief that Hawthorne's evil in "Young Goodman Brown" is that of conformity and placidity. For example, it is said, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions." Young Goodman Brown in the end is considered bitter and hateful, but that does not necessarily make him evil, for it is also said, "To thine own self be true." Goodman Brown leads no bright life, but he refuses to compromise his soul; he stays true.

In the Crucible, this act is directly reflected in the actions of John Proctor, who gives himself as a martyr only for his own soul.

9:20 AM  
Blogger Jordyn S said...

I think Hawthorne would define "evil" as purposely trying to hurt other people and having malicious intentions. It seems as though he feels that evil is within every person but it is their own choice to reveal or use and the ways in which they use their own evil. Evil can be unique to every person. Every person has different qualities or traits that make them evil in different and maybe even multiple ways. The manner in which these evils are used and the degree to which they are used can also vary between people. I think Miller would agree with this because he leaves room for his characters to change anything they have done wrong or harmful with their evils.

9:20 AM  
Blogger EmilyL said...

Although "Young Goodman Brown" focuses on supposedly good people who are in fact colleagues of the devil, Hawthorne seems to blur the line between true good and evil. At the end of the story, Hawthorne never states if Brown or his wife joined the devil. He states that Brown could not tell if his journey had been a dream or reality. The people he saw on his walk still continue to keep up appearances of being pious and holy. However, he shows that Brown's relationship with his friends and family and his perspective on life has been altered drastically.
Hawthorne’s evil changes trust into suspicion, innocent joy into anger and mistrust. His evil causes the simple pleasures in life to take on a sinister view. Such evil destroys laughter and happiness and replaces it with horror.
Miller’s evil has similar affects, but his evil is dark and furious. His evil turns people to the ways of killing, deceit and murderous rage. Such evil tears apart the very core of the inhabitants’ existence. While Hawthorne’s evil leaves the majority of the people with the ability to live mundane, unchanged lives, the evil in The Crucible affects Salem in ways almost impossible to change.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Alyssag said...

I think that Hawthorne would define evil as not doing what is right even when you know what the right path is. In the Crucible, Danforth kept accusing people of witchraft because he had already commited so many accusations that if he stopped, he would be admitting that he was wrong. In Goodman Brown, Brown kept saying to the other traveler, "too far too far!" The traveler responded, "let us walk on, nevertheless, reasoning as we go; and if I convince thee not thou shall not turn back." Goodman Brown knew that he shouldnt go farther into the forest, but yet he continued to walk with the fellow traveler.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Kyle N said...

Based on "Young Goodman Brown", I think Hawthorne would define evil as anything outside the confines of Puritan society at its best. If you are not Puritan, than God will damn you. I also agree with Clay, as good is viewed differntly by everyone in the stories. I think that Miller would agree with his defintion of evil, because to both of the authors, evil is realitive.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Monique R said...

Continuing Lauren's idea, I think that guilt and consequences are a big part of evil. A person who fears these things knows that what they did is evil, but to connect it to the other posting, a psychopath may not know that what they are doing is evil. Basically, evil is relative.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Sarah P said...

I commpletly agree with clay, i think how evil is potrayed is dependes on the persons point of view, i never thought about it that way, but now i think that that makes complete sence. Maybe Abigail isn't completly evil, nor good. She is both depending on who is looking at her.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Megan D said...

I think that Nathaniel Hawthorne might define “evil” as a force that is inside every person, but the weak people are the ones who are overcome with evil because they cannot fight it. He believes that evil is something so powerful, it can take your soul away. Both Miller and Hawthorne portray evil as something that is determined by viewpoints, it is not set in stone, but you do not really determine evil, others do.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Milt G said...

Natalie i don't understand what you're trying to say? Are you saying that you agree with the fact that miller makes it seem like if you turn back to God all you evil is gone? Or are you disagreeing and saying that evil such as witchcraft cannot disappear like that so quickly? Please respond

9:23 AM  
Blogger Jennifer W said...

I agree with Kaitlin's comment in that in Miller's book, evil is seen in the eye of the beholder and some agree with him and some don't. Hawthorne is speaking from his great-great grandfather's point of view and putting his own twist into it. He poured his emotions into but also tried to think of his relative's feelings and put those in there too.

9:24 AM  
Blogger shannon a said...

I feel that both deffinitons of evil are similar. This is because evil in The Crucible are the rumors of witchcraft and in Young Goodman Brown the evil is what he hears in wind. The real opinion of evil is in the eye of the characters. In Millers the onl way to get rid of evil is by death and in Hawthornes evil can only be seen and heard

9:26 AM  
Blogger Milt G said...

I concur with mademoiselle emily! For sho

9:27 AM  
Blogger Anoel said...

I agree with all the people who said Hawthornes views are based on the consensus of what evil is. I believe that evil is really a matter of perception and intentions. An evil act done with good intentions is still evil, but is the one who performed said act a terribly evil person because of it? Like Danforth in the Crucible, one does not know his nature untill they know his intentions.

9:27 AM  
Blogger erinl said...

I agree with Lauren F. when she says "Nathaniel Hawthorne would describe evil as you hear it in the wind." In "Young Goodman Brown", when Hawthrone describes the wind, it gives the setting of a very eerie and gloomy/evil place. I think Miller would disagree with this definition because in The Crucible, he seems to relate evil with people and their actions instead of a place.

9:27 AM  
Blogger ryan f said...

Natalie makes a very good point. Evil really is something that is deeply rooted in a person. How can someone truly be evil without an actual resistence to change. Hawthorne seems as though he might agree with the statement that "People who do bad things can still be good people," although i think he might have some conditions to it. He might want to change it to be good people, on the very deep inside , beyond the evil which is almost just as equally deep.

9:28 AM  
Blogger jessicam said...

I absolutely agree with Nathan A.'s comment about the outlook of life by both authors. It seems true that that is the way Hawthorne views life in general; that evil is human nature and it is in even the most pious. I agree with this point of view somewhat, evil is in everyone, some people just show it more than others. Some people can supress the evil, but nobody can supress it entirely.

9:28 AM  
Blogger jessicam said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:28 AM  
Blogger J Hunt said...

I agree with Kyle that Miller would say evil is anything outside of the Puritan religious beliefs. Also, I believe that evil is relative to a persons conscience although I think that generally, all people have a common conscience that connects everyone. I think that Miller would agree with Hawthorne’s definition of evil, but I also think that because there are a few hundred years between the time both authors lived, their may be minute differences in their definitions.

9:29 AM  
Blogger OfAThousandSuns said...

this is just a random thought on evil...
i think the greatest kind of evil does not have to directly, physically affect a person or a community. The greatest kind of evil manipulates and deceives and psycologically destroys someone. The pain of somesort of wound cant last forever, but destroying someones mind does, and the pain it can cause is greater than a gun or knife.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Erin G said...

I agree with Kaitlin's comment about how evil can be viewed differently from different people and how in The Crucible, people's deeds can be seen as good and bad. In the Crucible it seems harder to draw the line between good and evil, and which characters are good and evil. I have one question; in the first sentence, do you mean that Hawthorne is defining the type of evil that his great grandfather was, or the type of evil he had to "deal with?"

9:29 AM  
Blogger Chris B said...

I agree with Lauren f. in that evil can be defined as guilt. You don’t have guilt unless you have done an "evil" deed, therefore when you comment something evil you are setting yourself up for guilt. Some people define karma as "events happening because of guilt". Eventually, no matter what you do, your evil deeds will lead to consequences later in your life no matter how far down the road it is.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Kelly O said...

I completely agree with Nathan. Hawthorne's story shows that everyone, including good religios people, can have some evil in them, but a person like Goodman Brown may not always realize that the other people are evil, too. I think Miller would agree to a point. All of his characters have dark secrets that could be considered evil.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Jessica K said...

I agree with claw w's comment. I think that Miller and Hawthorne both display similar definitions of evil. They both show that evil is relative and there's no definate line between. People view evil in many different ways and it all just depends on the person. I also believe that the intentions play a role in what is evil but many don't think about the intentions, just the actions.

9:30 AM  
Blogger emilee p said...

I agree with Alyssa, that Hawthorne would describe evil as not doing what is right, even if you know what the right thing is. Both Goodman brown and Danforth don’t turn around even when they know they should. Only the genuinely strong can overcome the temptation of the easy road and do the right thing

9:30 AM  
Blogger mackenzieL said...

I totally agree with megan d with how she talked about how the person percieves evil depends on the viewpoint of the person or the veiwpoints of the people the person is around.

9:54 AM  
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6:35 AM  

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