The Dualism of Good and Evil in “Young Goodman Brown” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter”

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Nan Chareanpunsirikul


The difficulty of retaining one’s faith in a world notable for its ambiguous mixture of good and evil is the common theme that relates two of Hawthorne’s famous short stories, “Young Goodman Brown” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter.”  Hawthorne believes that in order to find a hope of heaven—in order, that is, to develop one’s full human potential—man must accept the tragic involvement with sin, but also the consequent possibility of redemption (Male, 2005, p. 54). In both “Young Goodman Brown” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter”, this perplexing amalgamation of vice and virtue is clearly illustrated in the settings and the characterization of the women.

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