Young Goodman Brown is a tale written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1835 and it is a piece of literature that portrays the puritan society of seventeenth -century. This tale was included in the Hawthorne's popular story collection Mosses from an Old Manse, of 1846. The tale is about a young puritan who was drawn into a covenant with the devil and his faith is crushed when he later that night he discovers that his fellow town people including the religious leaders and his wife were also attending the black mass he was attending deep in the forest(Hawthorne, 24). After such strange discovery Brown is unable to forgive the evil in his loved ones and he spends the rest of his life in disparate loneliness and end up dying in gloom.
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On the other hand The Veldt is a science fiction short story written by Ray Bradbury and published in 1951 in the anthology The Illustrated Man. The story is about a family of Lydia and George who installs the latest technology in their house 'happy life home' which is able to do everything for the family that they needed and they get children get acquitted it so much that it replaced their parents. After sometime George and Lydia realizes that there was something wrong with the nursery and they plan to shut it off for sometime but such ideas come a little bit too late as their children had already conspired to lock them in the veldt as lions in the African plains advance towards them (Bradbury,12).
Both stories the veldt and the young Goodman brown forces us to 'encounter the strange' but the Young Goodman brown strange encounters captured my interest because it involves encounters with the unexpected especially the interaction of human beings with the devil is very intriguing and strange to me especially the fact that people that come from the township that brown leaves are considered very religious yet they practice witches and other satanic rituals behind each other backs. Strange encounters in the tale the veldt include the encounter with a very advanced technology that is programmed to perform everything that human do and that is able to read minds of people in the room. Another strange encounter is the African setting where there are lions that with the advanced technology are able to advance towards George and Lydia and eat them.
Puritans in Salem, Massachusetts who lived at the time Hawthorn wrote the story Young Goodman brown were superstitions practiced witches and sorcery. the first strange encounter in the story is when brown after entering the dark forest meets with a strange figure of a mysterious old man who resembles his grandfather and escorts him. The strange old happens to be devil but he is described more as father figure who addresses his congregation as his children. The author writes 'as if his once angelic nature could yet mourn for our race' and buy using the word angelic to describe the devils manner is a very strange way of softening the image of the devil figure. To prove that puritans worshiped the devil, the devil in his speech asks the people to accept that virtue can not be possible and that evil is mans true nature; he then welcomes them to the 'communion of your race'. And even goes further to assure them that 'evil must be your only happiness' (Hawthorne, 77).
Another strange encounter is when brown discovers that other religious leaders including his catechism teacher and pastor shared the same evil intentions and were all on the way to attend the midnight witches meeting. Such encounter is very strange to brown because he thought that they were the 'most holy' members of the society only to be surprised that they all practiced witchcraft.
Third strange encounter is when brown hears his wife faith's voice in the crowd proceeding for the witches meeting. It's very strange to him because he believed that his wife faith was an angel when he says she is "a blessed angel on earth; and after this night, I'll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven" (Hawthorne,7). Such strange encounter makes brown to loose his faith as he says 'my faith is gone' meaning that he lost his wife as well as his believe in good. To show that they worshiped the devil, on the way brown tells his fellow traveler that he should quit his dear faith (religion) and go after his faith (wife).
Another strange encounter is when brown is conversing with devil and he tells him that his father and ancestors never walked into the forest for such errands and that they were a race of honest men and good Christians meaning that the ritual practice was new in the society and its has corrupted the integrity of Christianity in the society.
From the analysis of the strange encounters in young good brown it's clear that it confronts us with the reality that people should not judge each other because we are all humans and commit same 'sins' and not to be like Brown who believed that everybody is evil and end up condemning himself to life of solitude and loneliness just because he could not accept the reality and change in the society.
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