SIMILARITIES AND DIFFERENCES

Similarities and Differences in Themes

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Similarities and Differences in Themes

            The stories, The Rocking Horse Winner by D. H. Lawrence, and Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne exhibit some similarities and differences. The authors have presented some of the similar themes in different ways. Lawrence tells the story of a young boy’s resilience to get his mother out of poverty. The boy is willing to gamble and risk his life for her despite the fact that she does not love any of her children. Hawthorne tells the story of a man who changes his life after he encounters the devil, although he is not sure whether he was dreaming or the events he envisioned during the night took place. The man changes after he realizes that he lives in a world that is full of hypocrisy. He does not trust anyone after his night encounter. The characters in the story have helped to bring out different themes in the story. These themes have influenced the characters in different ways, and they have affected the decisions they choose to make.

One of the common themes in the story is hypocrisy. Although it is represented in different ways, it leads the characters to make decisions that they would not make under usual circumstances. In his story, Lawrence shows how Paul’s mother lived a pretentious life. She wanted to live her life in luxury, yet her family could not afford it. This made Paul continue betting on the horses. Her desired lifestyle contributed to the mounting debts they had, and they did not have a way of paying them. She also pretended to love her children. Although everybody outside the family knew that she was a loving mother and that she dotted on her children, her family knew that she was only pretending. She did not care for them, and she only saw them as burdens. She did not love her husband either. In a need to gain her mother’s love and acceptance, Paul decided to make more money so that he could please his mother. He did not know when to stop, and this led to his eventual death (Lawrence, 2010). The theme of hypocrisy is also prevalent in Hawthorne’s story. Brown realizes that he has been living around people who pretend to be religious. Although he is not sure whether the encounter he had was a dream, he ends up distrusting everybody. When he discovers that everyone around him is pretending, he ends up living a miserable and empty life (Hawthorne, 2005). In both stories, the main characters end up living miserable lives because of the hypocrisy that is prevalent around them.

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