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“Desiree’s Baby” by Chopin and “Young Goodman Brown” by Hawthorne

Introduction

Desiree Aubigny and Faith Brown are characters in the short stories “Desiree’s Baby” by Kate Chopin and “Young Goodman Brown” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The heroines of these stories are young women who faced several trials in their family life. However, it would be wrong to decide that the women are pretty similar. They have different fates, various challenges, and varying character traits to fight these challenges. Therefore, after reading, it was easy to realize that Desiree Aubigny and Faith Brown have several distinctions, especially in generosity, relationship with others, and religion.

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Generosity

Faith Brown and Desiree Aubigny are two characters from two different stories: a woman willing to give everything and a woman who does not care about others. Generosity is something that is inherent in the human soul by nature. Some people are ready to give away the last shirt to those who need it. Faith Brown is one of such people whom nature has endowed with the wish to help others. Faith is a pious person as it is not difficult to guess by her name (Hawthorne, 2017). Faith approaches everything in life in faith and believes that tomorrow is better than today. She has made her husband live with hope; therefore, her faith is generous.

When Brown decides that his wife is gone, he cries: «There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name” (Hawthorne, 2017, p. 55). On the other hand, Desiree is not so lavish and altruistic; her thoughts always focus on herself and everything that concerns her. Thus, while Desiree provided that she feels satisfied, never minds the concerns and experiences of other people, through faith-filled generosity, Faith desires to help others.

Their ability to share with others indicates that Faith Brown and Desiree Aubigny are two different persons with varying characters. Faith and her husband lead a happy life despite all the difficulties and punches of the world, hoping for better things tomorrow (Hawthorne, 2017). Even though fate does not seem to favor this couple, hope is everything to them. Faith’s thoughts are always on how to help the less fortunate in society.

At the same time, the nature of Desiree makes her fail to gain the most out of life. Other society members also care less about her since she does not mind about them as well. However, it would be wrong to conclude that Desiree is a bad or selfish person. It seems that Faith is just stronger than Desiree: even in hard periods of life, Faith thinks about others, while Desiree has enough power only to solve her problems. Moreover, Desiree is indifferent to everything, like a depressed person: she is not selfish, just sore. Therefore, these women live according to their inner convictions and circumstances of life.

Relationship with Others

Faith and Desiree live among people, having completely different levels of interaction with others. Faith, for instance, knows well how to relate to the community. It is evident already from the first paragraphs of the story depicting her relationship with the husband, Goodman Brown, who she loves. It could be concluded because Faith is almost everything for Brown; her name often comes off his lips (Hawthorne, 2017).

As a religious person, Faith understands that relating with others creates peace. In contrast, Desiree Aubigny, who was at first affectionate and sincere, socializes less with other people (Chopin, 2017). Therefore, she lives a lonely life because she has established few relations with other people in society. She is “like a stone image: silent, white, motionless” because of her husband’s distrust (Chopin, 2017, p. 7). While Faith creates a good working relationship with Goodman Brown, enabling the two to live a peaceful life, Desiree is often afraid of talking with her husband. Thus, these women have a different relationship with other people, which depends not only on their communication ability but also on their fate.

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Religion

These two characters have different inner convictions related to religion. Just as her name suggests, Faith is a deeply religious person. The faith of this woman is evident in the way she interacts with other members of society. Faith also acknowledges other people’s beliefs in society; therefore, she understands that people have a different sense of belonging and beliefs. The family of Faith and Goodman Brown is religious because Goodman is seen crying, saying that ‘with Heaven above, and Faith below, I will yet stand firm against the devil’ (Hawthorne, 2017, p. 52). It indicates that they are religious and believe in a superior being.

On the contrary, Desiree is non-religious; perhaps it would be difficult for her to be in a specific religion if she does not interact well with other people in society. Additionally, it would be hard for her to trust what is unseen when she finds it challenging to trust humanity. At some point, the woman wants to die because she feels so unhappy to live. Therefore, she does not have faith in anything that sometimes can give her hope in life. On the other hand, although she hardly visits the church, she believes in God. When her husband smiles, “she asks no greater blessing of God” (Chopin, 2017, p. 19). She cannot be blamed for her disbelief in the power of religion; she has a challenging fate and no ability to fight. Thus, while Faith draws strength from religion, Desiree has been too tired to seek the sources of force at all.

Conclusion

Thus, Faith Brown and Desiree Aubigny are pretty different. Although they live in the same society, they differ in terms of their characters. Faith is a religious and lavish woman who thinks about others and always tries to support and help her husband. Desiree is a silent and passive woman who cannot withstand the accusations of her husband. Faith is hopeful, and Desiree sees only the gloominess of her position. Therefore, while the two characters share some similarities, they differ in their generosity, relationship with others, and religion. On the other hand, it would be wrong to claim that Faith is a positive person due to her generosity and religiousness, and Desiree is negative. Every person deals with the challenges that life sometimes throws up differently.

References

Chopin, K. (2017). Desiree’s Baby. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

Hawthorne, N. (2017). Mosses from an old manse. Delphi Classics.

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StudyCorgi. "“Desiree’s Baby” by Chopin and “Young Goodman Brown” by Hawthorne." November 14, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/desirees-baby-by-chopin-and-young-goodman-brown-by-hawthorne/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "“Desiree’s Baby” by Chopin and “Young Goodman Brown” by Hawthorne." November 14, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/desirees-baby-by-chopin-and-young-goodman-brown-by-hawthorne/.

References

StudyCorgi. (2022) '“Desiree’s Baby” by Chopin and “Young Goodman Brown” by Hawthorne'. 14 November.

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