The stories, The Devil and Tom Walker and Young Goodman Brown, maintain numerous differences. Even though both stories were written by the same author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, both stories present different themes, plots, and characters. Throughout both stories, the characters encounter obstacles, but the decisions they make going to present the differences in their character. During the two stories, different personality traits of the main characters, Tom Walker and Goodman Brown, are shown. Throughout The Devil and Tom Walker, Nathaniel Hawthorne tells us Tom Walker is a greedy and selfish man. At the beginning of the story, Tom Walker visits the devil and desires money for himself. Tom makes a deal with the devil: he will become a usurer, and the devil issues him what he wants. After Tom informs his wife about the deal, she also wants to participate and goes to the devil herself. She brings him a household item in hopes of making a deal. The wife goes missing for days. Tom goes out searching for his lost wife and the property she took with her. He finds nothing but her apron with her heart and liver tied up in it. Instead of displaying sympathy for his late wife, Tom feels liberated and concerned for his lost property. On the other hand, Goodman Brown was a considerate and compassionate man.
When Brown meets the traveler he is sure not to touch the staff or do anything Brown’s family, whom he thought was very religious. Before Brown leaves to go to the meeting he is with his wife, unlike Tom Walker Brown cares for his wife and wants her to be safe, and tells her to pray so she will be unharmed. Not only are the characters’ personalities different but also the characters’ lifestyle. In both stories, the lifestyles of Tom Walker and Goodman are shown. Throughout The Devil and Tom Walker, Tom is shown not religiously. However, in Young Goodman Brown, Goodman Brown is very religious. Throughout The Devil and Tom Walker, Tom is not an avid churchgoer, but towards the end starts showing he is religious by going to church and constantly carrying a bible around, even though his heart does not change. During Young Goodman Brown, Goodman shows that he is very religious. For example, he told his wife to pray, and he prayed. In addition, he talks about his Christianity and how the church members do not abide by such wickedness. By the end of both stories, the themes are clear, which is also another difference between the two stories.
In The Devil and Tom Walker, the themes are temptation and greed. Throughout the story, Tom will do anything and everything to collect the money from the devil; such as making a deal with the devil. Also, the devil in the story tries to get on Tom’s good side so Tom will take the deal. For example, the devil first offered Tom the job of a slave trader, Tom refused. Then the devil offered a usurer, Tom accepted. However, in Young Goodman Brown,’ the themes were a loss of innocence and humanity’s weak nature. During the story, Goodman has a set belief on everyone he knows, including his wife, but after the meeting the traveler he realizes most people in the church, his family and wife all had evil in them. All the people Goodman thought were good had a mask and only showed the parts of their life they wanted to. After Goodman found out about everyone he began to feel scared and changed the way acted and thought about those people. While the stories were not opposite, they still were very distinctive.
In conclusion, the characters in both stories had their own lifestyle and personality that were predisposed to their story. Also, the themes of both stories were driven by the characters which made them different. Both stories presented many struggles, but were very distinct