Similarities and Differences In Rip Van Winkle and Young Goodman Brown

April 28, 2022 by Essay Writer

Jaclyn Tobin Professor Hursey English 215 18 November 2019 In this paper, I will be discussing three different readings that I have read in English 215 this semester. I will be talking about the similarities and the differences in the readings. In more detail I will be talking about the settings of each reading and the freedom that the characters have or does not have in the stories. The readings that I chose to write about are Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving, Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and The Open Boat Stephen.

In Rip Van Winkle and Young Goodman Brown, there are some similarities and differences. The setting in Rip Van Winkle and Young Goodman Brown are the same, they were both in the woods. Both in Rip Van Winkle and Young Goodman Brown Rip and Brown went into the woods for reasons that involved their wives. Both men were scared to go into the woods because during that time period the people thought that the woods where evil. Another similarity in these stories are the both Rip and Brown both walked into the woods and saw a strange person. In Rip Van Winkle, Rip said that he saw “a short square-built old fellow, with thick bushy hair, and a grizzled beard. His dress was of the antique Dutch fashion—a cloth jerkin13 strapped round the waist—several pairs of breeches, the outer one of ample volume, decorated with rows of buttons down the sides, and bunches at the knees.” (Irving 408). Brown said that he saw “the figure of a man, in grave and decent attire, set at the foot of a tree… the traveler was about fifty years old, apparently in the same rank of life as Goodman Brown,” (Hawthorne 621).

Another difference in Rip Van Winkle and Young Goodman Brown is that Rip and Brown went into the woods for different purposes. For example, in Rip Van Winkle, Rip goes into the woods to get away from his wife. “Poor Rip was at last reduced almost to despair; and his only alternative, to escape from the labor of the farm and clamor of his wife, was to take gun in hand and stroll away into the woods” (Irving 407). Rip knows that if he goes into the woods his wife would not follow him because during the colonial time period the colonist thought that the woods were equal to Satan. Rip’s wife was always yelling at Rip to help her but, he was always helping the village instead of her. Rip got some of his freedom from the woods because he got away from his wife. Even though Rip was scared of the woods, he rather be in the woods instead of with his wife. In Young Goodman Brown, Brown was going into the woods to talk to someone not to get away from his wife. The woods took Brown’s freedom away when he found out that his wife was following the devil. “The young man seized it and beheld a pink ribbon. “My Faith is gone!” cried he, after one stupefied moment. There is no good on earth, and sin is but a name. Come, devil; for to thee is this world given.” (Hawthorne 226). After Brown found out in the woods that his wife was following the devil he wanted to get out of the wood so he could get his freedom back and try to forget about what happened in the woods. Therefore, the difference between Rip and Brown is Rip lacked freedom before going into the woods but when Rip went into the woods he found his freedom from his wife. Brown had freedom when he went into the woods and Brown got his freedom taken away when he was in the woods and gained a little of it back when he got out of the woods.

In Young Goodman Brown and The Open Boat there are similarities and differences. The similarities in Young Goodman Brown and The Open Boat is that Brown and the characters in The Open Boat could not get freedom until they when into another setting. For example, In Young Goodman Brown, Brown was in the woods and he found out that his wife was apart of the devil’s work. Brown could not get freedom until he went back home so he could go back to his normal life with his wife. “Turning the corner by the meetinghouse, he spied the head of Faith, with the pink ribbons, gazing anxiously forth, and bursting into such joy at sight of him that she skipped along the street and almost kissed her husband before the whole village” (Hawthorne 629). In The Open Boat, the characters where stuck in the ocean. Every time that the characters in the boat would get close to the land the water would get so rough and they would have to go back out to sea. The characters in the boat could see their freedom but could not get to it because the ocean was being rough. “As each wave came, and she rose for it, she seemed like a horse making at a fence outrageously high. The manner of her scramble over these walls of water is a mystic thing, and, moreover, at the top of them were ordinarily these problems in white water, the foam racing down from the summit of each wave, requiring a new leap, and a leap from the air” (Crane 150). Therefore, in Young Goodman Brown and The Open Boat, all the characters could not get their freedom until they changed their setting. For Brown the setting was his home and for the characters in The Open Boat it was the land. Another similarity is that in both stories they met an evil thing in their settings. For example, in Young Goodman Brown, Brown saw a “the figure of a man, in grave and decent attire, set at the foot of a tree… the traveler was about fifty years old, apparently in the same rank of life as Goodman Brown,” (Hawthorne 621). In The Open Boat the characters on the ship saw a shark swimming around there boat.

The differences between Young Goodman Brown and The Open Boat are the settings of the stories. The setting of Young Goodman Brown took place in the woods whereas in The Open Boat the setting in the story was in the ocean. Another difference is in both stories is that Brown and the characters of The Open Boat wanted to go to another setting to get their freedom but, to get to that setting both had different challenges. For example, in Young Goodman Brown, Brown had it easier because to get to his new setting he had to just walk home whereas in The Open Boat the characters had to go through rough water and a person dying to get to their freedom. “But suddenly the man cried: “What’s that?” He pointed a swift finger. The correspondent said: “Go.” In the shallows, face downward, lay the oiler. His forehead touched sand that was periodically, between each wave, clear of the sea” (Crane 1507). Therefore, the differences in Young Goodman Brown and The Open Boat is the settings of the story and how the characters got into the setting that will give them freedom.

In Rip Van Winkle and The Open Boat there are some similarities and differences. The similarities in Rip Van Winkle and The Open Boat is that all the characters did not have freedom. For example, Rip was trying to find freedom from his wife. His choices were to either stay with his wife and not find freedom or go into the woods that he was scared of to get away from his wife. In The Open Boat, the men were trying to get to land to feel free and safe but, they thought that the ocean was controlling them. Even if the characters wanted to go to the land they had to fight for it. “We’ll never be able to make the light-house now,” said the captain” (Crane 1496). “The waves came without snarling” (Crane 1501). The author Stephen Crane of The Open Boat, was not trying to say that the ocean was not trying to hurt the characters but, the ocean was not trying to help the characters either. With this, it could also go along with Rip in the woods. The woods where not trying to hurt Rip by Rip not knowing where to go but, the woods were not helping him find his way around.

The difference in Rip Van Winkle and The Open Boat is that the setting is in two different places. In Rip Van Winkle the setting was in the woods whereas in The Open Boat the setting was in the ocean. Even though the settings are different in these stories, both of the places were like the same. For example, in the woods Rip was free from his wife but he had no idea where he was going in the woods. The woods was a strange and unknown place to Rip because this story was written in the colonial time period where the colonists are scared of the woods. The woods are a very open place where Rip could pretty much go anywhere that he wants to without any problem. In The Open Boat the setting was in the ocean and the characters in the story never really knew where they were going because the ocean is a huge and very unknown place even for today. Even though the characters in The Open Boat wherein a free and open setting the rough ocean did not help them get to land so they could be free.

In conclusion in the stories Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving, Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and The Open Boat Stephen Crane there are many similarities and differences. In Rip Van Winkle and Young Goodman Brown, the setting of the stories where the same, in the woods and the setting of The Open Boat was different in the ocean. The characters in all of the story lacked freedom at some point. In Rip Van Winkle, Rip lacks freedom with being with his wife. In Young Goodman Brown, Brown lacks freedom when finding out that his wife follows Satan. In The Open Boat the characters lack freedom by not being able to get to land. Overall, all of the stories had something in common and something different.

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