Short Stories

Short Stories Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown” Goodman Brown was not asleep in this short story. As I read, I believed that Goodman did indeed meet the devil in the forest. If he had indeed dreamt about the trip he was sent on and meeting the devil, I think his nervousness would have been described in more detail then it was. Concentrating more on the anxiety he was feeling would have led the reader to believe that the events were not real. I also saw this story as an allegory. I saw the allegory after reading the story two times.

I think it is centered on Goodman Brown having a bumpy past and that he wants to go beyond his past and reach heaven. The characters names also show the religious allegory in the story. The names Goodman and Faith are used and the characters are then soon faced with terrifying evil. I think that Goodman Brown and his wife, Faith’s names symbolize that they are good, religious people and that Goodman is making up everyone being evil in his head. I found an essay by Alexa Carlson that described the symbolism in light vs.

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dark, forest vs. town, nature vs. human, and fantasy vs. reality. In her paper, Essay #1: Young Goodman Brown, she states that ” ..

fantasy vs. reality are employed to reinforce the idea that good and evil have been set up as strict categories into which no one, not even the religious figures of the community, fit neatly.” As she later writes, if Hawthorne was apprehensive about “what he considers right and wrong in terms of human behavior, I think he would have spend more time building up his tragic end.” “Young Goodman Brown” was a pretty sad story because he was happy with all the locals and his faith until the trip came into Goodman Brown’s life. Goodman is pure going into the forest, but in a sense comes out of the forest somewhat evil. He comes back thinking he is better than everyone else and ends up isolating himself to lead a very lonely life. Source: Carlson, Alexa.

Essay #1: Young Goodman Brown. www.crwl.utexas.edu Nathaniel Hawthorne, “My Kinsman, Major Molineaux” I read some information about Nathaniel Hawthorne’s life and then thinking back to this story, I see his life somewhat reflected in the main character. I saw him relating himself to Robin and parallel the emotions and similarities to that of his own life. I remember reading that Hawthorne locked himself up in a room for twelve years and completely isolated himself from the people around him. In “My Kinsman, Major Molineaux”, Robin is given a lesson and isolated from the group of the new colony. He leads himself to his own misery and disrespect because he recognized himself as a kinsman and wanted something back.

Both Hawthorne and Robin face the problem of being accepted by society. They both had their shares of complications and complexity fitting in with their surroundings. The first paragraph of the story is there to let you know something. There is a hint hidden in the paragraph about the fate of Major Molineaux. He states that uprisings are beginning to occur in the colonies.

Robin is an 18 year old who travels across the ocean to see Major Molineaux. He seems confident that all will work out even though he does not know where his uncle lives. He goes with little money and asks where Major Molineaux lives. His first attempt to find his uncle is a disappointment. All the people he asks are mean to him but he still keeps looking. From the story, I get that Robin does not really want to find Major Molineaux.

Once he sees his uncle tarred and feathered, he starts laughing and realizing how much he has grown from his trip. The older people in the story seem to be really mean. I think they have a greater hatred toward Major Molineaux. The man Robin sees with the black and red face scares him. I think the red and black represent danger and anger and possibly evil. The danger could represent either that the mob is supposed to be something evil or that the mob represents the violent changes that place as the Revolutionary War approaches.

Robin seems to be very ignorant also because he is a country boy and has just seen the harsh city life. Edgar Allan Poe, “The Cask of Amontillado” In “The Cask of Amontillado”, Montressor wants to seek revenge on Fortunado. Montressor lures him into the vaults by telling him about the rare cask of Amontillado he has found down there. Montressor tells Fortunado that he would have had him check out the wine but he had a previous engagement, so he would be asking Luchesi for the favor. In an article I found on the Internet, the writer told about Montressor’s ability to get Fortunado to fall for his trick.

( www.poedecoder.com/essays/cask/ ) He wrote, “Montressor was careful not to arouse Fortunado’s suspicions”. This was Montressor’s “perfect plan of retribution”. He was planning the death of Fortunado and Fortunado fell for the trap that Montressor had planned. Montressor is the narrator of Poe’s great story. There is also irony in this short story.

Montressor realizes what he is about to do to Fortunado the further along the go into the vaults. The characters name, Fortunado, also plays with irony by the fact that he is less than fortunate in this occasion. I also saw irony when Montressor and Fortunado were drinking some wine before they got to the Amontillado. Montressor toasted to Fortunado’s long life, when he knew that his life would be over very soon. I did not see the symbolism in the motto or the coat of arms but in the website mentioned above, they did however show me.

The symbolism in the coat of arms and the motto was “of Montressor’s evil character, who like the serpent intends to get revenge.” The foreshadowing laid in the first sentence of the story. “The thousands of injuries of Fortunado I had borne as best I could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.” From this sentence, you can clearly see that someone in the story is going to be hurt in someway. Nevertheless, Montressor felt guilty in the end. When Fortunado went into the deep end of the crypt, Montressor heard him screaming and he began to tremble. I think he realized what he did and felt he had done a terrible thing.

Also, at the very end of the story, Montressor narrated, “In peace may he rest”. If he wished him peace in his death, why would he have killed him? Seems to me like he was a little guilty. Source: www.poedecoder.com Ambrose Bierce, “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” takes place during the American Civil War that was fought in the 1860’s. The United States was divided over the issue of slavery. The Northern States wanted an end to come from slavery and the South wanted to keep slavery alive to ensure low labor and production costs.

In the short story there was a bit of symbolism played out. The line “Mrs. Farquhar was only too happy to serve him with her own white hands”, symbolizes her hands for the white Southern wealthy plantation owners and politicians who were stubbornly willing to divide the country. The Southern people would have rather allowed Americans to kill one another in a war, rather than choosing to resolve differences between North and South by ending slavery and giving freedom back to black Americans. Ambrose Bierce wrote with a lot of fantastic imagery.

The imagery he used seemed to build the suspense near the end of the story. The images he portrayed were strange, yet peaceful and hopeful. Then suddenly he hits readers with gunfire and pain. For example, to heighten the suspense he used bizarre passages such as “black bodies of the trees” and “no fields bordered it, no dwelling anywhere”. The reader gets to ride along with Peyton during this dramatic imagery.

You go from the threat of death, to beautiful images of life, to images of a wonderful afterlife, to pain, and finally to the arms of his wife. Peyton Farquhar died in the end. I saw that as a symbol of being killed because of the deceitful and weak Southern upper classes. Peyton was a “well-to-do planter, of an old and highly respected Alabama family”. They wouldn’t give up their wealth but others could be killed, even if they were respected Southerners. Guy de Maupassant, “The Necklace” A short summary of “The Necklace” is that Mme. Loisel was ashamed to go to a party without proper jewels around her neck.

She did not want to look poor, like her husband and her were. She borrowed a friend’s necklace and proceeded to lose the necklace at the end of the night. She bought a new necklace for thirty six thousand francs and returned it to Mme. Forestier. Mme. Loisel and her husband spent the next ten years working extremely hard to pay off the necklace only to find that the necklace Mme. Loisel borrowed was a fake and was not worth near the amount the spent on the new necklace.

I saw the irony in the story in Mme. Forestier and the plaster necklace. When Mme. Loisel returned the necklace to Mme. Forestier, she didn’t hesitate to look at the lovely necklace and make sure there was nothing wrong with it.

If it had been a prize possession, she would probably have opened the case and made sure there were no scratches or jewels missing. Obviously, Mme. Forestier wasn’t concerned about the shape of the so-called plaster necklace. Another part I saw irony in was when Mme. Loisel was looking through Mme.

Forestier’s jewels. Mme. Forestier took her large jewelry box out of her wardrobe while the other necklace was sitting out in a black box. Mme. Loisel also went through thousands of bracelets and necklaces of fine quality.

Those pieces of jewelry weren’t good enough for her and then she settles on the plaster necklace. Guy de Maupassant was connected with the Ministry of Public Instruction. Interesting enough, Monsieur Loisel was employed at the Ministry of Public Instruction. Maupassant wrote very classically and simply. He avoided social commentary at all risks.

While he was writing, he liked to right about the real world and show everyone that he was well informed about it. ( www.members.tripod.com/KisnerD/guyde.htm ) I think this story fit his description very well. It was very realistic and sounds like something that could happen to anyone. Source: www.members.tripod.com Kate Chopin, “Desiree’s Baby” Kate Chopin wrote great short stories. Many say her works imitated Guy de Maupassant’s.

Her style in “Desiree’s Baby” imitates his by escaping from traditional short stories and writing something new and free. Chopin wrote what she saw. The plots in her stories were well organized and ended with critical acts, somewhat like Maupassant’s. In “Desiree’s Baby”, light and dark symbolism were used. The first light/dark symbol I read was the description of L’Abri, Desiree and Armand’s house. Madame Valmonde shuddered at the sight of it.

The house was ” .. a sad looking place,” and that starts to make you realize there is not a lot of happiness inside, though they perceive to be happy. As Madame Valmonde gets closer to the house, she describes it in more detail. “Big, solemn oaks grew close to it, and their thick-leaved, far-reaching branches shadowed it like a pall.” This is a dark symbol for what is about to happen in the house between Desiree and Armand. He will find out not just too much about his wife but also about himself and the house will go under.

I see a light symbol on Desiree when Madame Valmonde comes to visit her and the baby. Desiree is wearing all white and lace. She is so happy with her life and is so pure. She will only find out later that her life isn’t as pure as she thought it would be. In the second paragraph of the story, the narrator tells a crucial part of the story. “Why, it seemed but yesterday that Desiree was little more than a baby herself; when Monsieur in riding through the gateway of Valmonde had found her lying asleep in the shadow of the big stone pillar.” I see this sentence foreshadowing the ending by letting you know that she was not the Valmonde’s child.

Desiree was lying in the shadow of the pillar. I think that foreshadows that she was a child with a secret and the Valmonde’s tried to keep it hid until the day the child’s skin started turning brown. Also, Chopin describes Armand as having a “dark, handsome face”. This also foreshadows the end as Armand finds the letter his mother wrote that she was part black. William Sydney Porter, “The Gift of the Magi” “The Gift of the Magi” is very similar to “The Necklace” by Guy de Maupassant. The characters in both stories think money is more important than their loved ones.

They do not see the sentimental value of things. All they see is the cash value. They were also different in the fact that they gave up completely different things. Mme. Loisel gave up ten years of her life to pay for the necklace.

Della gave up her lovely hair and Jim gave up his prized watch. Della and Jim can eventually get back what they gave up, but Mme. Loisel can never gain ten years back on her life. What she gave up was much more expensive. In the beginning of the story, Della was crying and sobbing because she did not have enough money to buy Jim a present for Christmas, which was the next day.

“Which instigates the moral reflection that life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating.” I see this as foreshadowing exactly what would happen throughout the story. Della started of in tears and then mopped around a …