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Published: 28-11-2019

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Meeting the Devil: Lottery Symbols in the "Young Goodman Brown"

In the story, Young Goodman Brown, Goodman’s loss of innocence is inevitable simply because he is a human becoming. External voices do not corrupt goodman alternatively, he decides to go to the forest with the aim of meeting the devil. Goodman’s fall is facilitated by the devil, and this exemplifies the inherence of evil in his life. Nathaniel uses symbolism to elaborate Goodman’s loss of innocence. The Lottery by Shirley Jackson is a haunting story due to the fact it highlights the unpredictability of the mob psychology. Ritual homicide is the community’s lore simply because the townspeople have accepted it. The Old man Warner warns the individuals against stopping the tradition simply because it has been practiced in the town for numerous years. Discontinuing the tradition would imply that the complete town will fall apart. Tessie Hutchinson dies unfairly due to the fact she is the a single that selects the marked piece of paper. The selection of the marked paper marks her for death, and it indicates that she is no longer a member of the community. The central themes in these stories are exemplified in the symbols that are utilised. The theme of innocence in the story Young Goodman Brown is symbolized by the pink ribbons and the theme of destruction in The Lottery is symbolized by the marked piece of paper.

In Young Goodman Brown, Faith’s pink ribbons are symbolic of innocencethus, they help in establishing the theme of the loss of innocence. The pink ribbons are symbolic of Faith’s purity and innocence. At the starting of the story, Hawthorne notes that “And Faith, as the wife was aptly named, thrust her fairly head into the street, letting the wind play with the pink ribbons of her cap while she referred to as to Goodman Brown” (Hawthorne 1). Here, the pink color connotes happiness and innocence, and the ribbons have an innocent and modest decoration. Hawthorne’s mention of Faith’s pink ribbons at the beginning of the story imbuing Faith’s character of happiness and youthfulness. The ribbons are also mentioned when Goodman Brown is struggling with the doubts that he has about the goodness of different folks in his life. The struggle in his thoughts requires location when he is in the forest. Even though in the forest a pink ribbon falls from the sky and this tends to make Goodman brown to think that Faith has fallen for the devil thus she has lost her innocence and purity. About the pink ribbon, Hawthorne writes that “…But some thing fluttered lightly down via the air and caught on the branch of a tree. The young man seized it and beheld a pink ribbon” (Hawthorne five).The falling ribbon symbolizes Goodman’s failure and the loss of his faith in humanity.He fails because he trusts the devil that is why he embarks on the journey to attend the witches’ Sabbath. After the falling of the ribbon Goodman cries that he has lost his faith. He loses faith and innocence since he has fallen for the devil. Following losing his innocence, he realizes that the strict moral code that is emphasized by the Puritans is not genuine since deep down people are evil. Therefore, Goodman can longer trust any person even if they claim that they are holy. Ultimately, when Goodman goes residence after his trip in the forest Faith is in her pink ribbons suggesting that she is nonetheless innocent and pure hence it casts doubts on the validity of Goodman’s experiences in the forest. The mention of the pink ribbons towards the of the story helps in developing the theme of innocence.

The marked piece of paper in The Lottery symbolizes destruction. The annual scapegoat is determined by identifying the person that chosen the marked paper. The paper is marked with a black dot which symbolizes doom. The black mark is similar to blemish or spot on a blank web page. The blemishes and spots are likened to illnesses therefore the appearance of the dot imply that the person is marked for destruction. Regarding the marked paper, Jackson explains that “Bill Hutchinson went more than to his wife and forced the slip of paper out of her hand. It had a black spot on it, the black spot Mr. Summers had produced the night before with the heavy pencil in the coal firm office” (Jackson 7).Apparently, Mrs. Hutchison is reluctant to announce that she is the a single that selected the marked paper that is why her husband forces her to let go the marked slip of paper. She is scared to death, but she can not escape it considering that she has chosen the paper with a blemish. The marked paper signifies that the particular person is not suitable to be part of the neighborhood hence, he or she should die. Joe Summers had marked the paper with a pencil the evening before the lottery. It implies that his fate of the winner is in the hands of yet another human being. The villagers bestow a lot of energy on the marked piece of paper simply because it guides them on how to stone in the course of the lottery. The fate of the winner of the lottery is predetermined therefore after a particular person selects the marked piece of paper, he or she is doomed to destruction.

In conclusion, Hawthorne utilizes pink ribbons to symbolize innocence. The ribbons represent Faith’s character, purity, and innocence at the starting of the story. Moreover, the pink ribbons symbolize Goodman’s loss of faith when they fall in the forest. They indicate that Goodman has lost his purity and innocence since of establishing links with the devil. Goodman confirms that he has lost his faith in humanity when the ribbons fall in the forest. The marked paper symbolizes the destruction of lottery winners in the Lottery. The person that selects the paper is marked for stoning therefore death is the prize that is provided to the winner. The mark is similar to blemish, and it communicates that a particular person that has the blemish does not deserve to be element of the society that is why he or she is stoned to death by the villagers. The marked paper confirms the fate of the winner which is destruction by means of stoning. Therefore, the use of the marked piece of paper in the lottery and Faith’s pink ribbons strengthens the critical messages in these brief stories.

Performs Cited

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. Young Goodman Brown.

Jackson, Shirley. The Lottery and Other Stories. Macmillan, 2005.
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