Coming Of Age Analysis

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In both "Araby" by James Joyce and "Young Goodman Brown" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, a major theme that is portrayed is the coming-of-age experiences in both stories, yet both are different on how the main character has their coming-of-age event. In “Araby” the theme is easier to understand because it uses a young boy that is going through an experience called love. “Young Goodman Brown” may be harder to indicate that it is also a coming-of-age experience, because it uses an event to make the experience happen. Each story has its own way to express how the protagonist grows as a person. “Araby” is a classic coming-of-age story where the protagonist is leaving innocence. The protagonist is a young boy who falls in love with Mangan’s sister. The…show more content…
He really cannot stop thinking of Mangan’s sister all the time which evidently interferes with his studies, “I watched my master’s face pass from amiability to sternness; he hoped I was not beginning to idle” (Joyce 171). Also, he wants to go to the bazaar to get something for Mangan’s sister to impress her, so he asks his uncle for money to go. The uncle ends up being late annoying the protagonist making him become angrier, “I began to walk up and down the room, clenching my fists,” eventually this kind of behavior will lead the protagonist to be more cautious when asking of things from his uncle since he figures whatever the protagonist asks for is not important enough to be on time for since he is just a kid (Joyce 172). The story gives a sign of this showing that the protagonist is unamused by his uncle’s excuses, “The people are in bed and after their first sleep now, he said. I did not smile” (Joyce 172). The protagonist begins to understand that he really can’t do much as a kid since no one wants to take him seriously. Afterwards, he discovers that he is really far away from being able to actually be with Mangan’s sister and interact with her after going to the bazaar. The bazaar opens his eyes to his actual age because he realizes after all his work he doesn’t have enough money to actually buy anything for Mangan’s sister. The protagonist feels that he is lost, “Gazing up into…show more content…
Goodman chooses to go out for one night, but this night changes his outlook on everything completely even after he promises Faith that “after this one night I’ll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven”(Hawthorne). Goodman is scared going deeper into the forest saying that “My father never went into the woods on such an errand, nor his father before him”, but his eyes are opened after the elder person explains that he has worked with his family and is well acquainted with them, “I have been as well acquainted with your family as with ever a one among the Puritans; and that’s no trifle to say” (Hawthorne). He doesn’t take what the elder person says to heart, but it does make him think changing his outlook on things. He witnesses more people from his town coming to the meeting making him realize people are not what they seem making him sick, “faint and overburdened with the heavy sickness of his heart. He looked up to the sky, doubting whether there really was a heaven above him” (Hawthorne). Instantly after Goodman grabs the pink ribbon he comes to realization that Faith is also gathered at this meeting in the forest changing his outlook on things even more, “And, maddened with despair, so that he laughed loud and long, did Goodman Brown grasp his staff and set forth again, at such a rate that he seemed to fly along the forest path rather than to walk or run” (Hawthorne).

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