Perception In Young Goodman Brown And Richard Cory

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Everyone has a different perception on what perceptions means. According to Merriam Webster, perception is “the way you think about or understand someone or something.” Many stories and poems focus on the theme of perception. Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthorne and “Richard Cory” by Edwin Arlington Robinson are both favorable examples. In this essay, the topics of perception and how it is used in the story and poem are explored based on textual evidence. In YGB, the main character, Young Goodman Brown, has an experience that changes his perspective on all of his town’s people. The town of Salem Village, in Young Goodman Brown’s eyes, is a pure town of good people with good intentions and a clear devotion to God, especially his wife Faith. YGB says that Faith is “a blessed angel on earth; and after this one night I’ll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven,” (Hawthorne 7). The one night he speaks of is his journey through the woods with a fellow-traveller; said fellow-traveller is perceived in this story to be the Devil. As he is travelling, he encounters a few townspeople…show more content…
Richard Cory is a man who is greatly admired and slightly envied in his town. The townspeople state, “In fine, we thought that he was everything to make us wish that we were in his place,” (Robinson 11-12). The townspeople “worked, and waited for the light, and went without the meat, and cursed the bread,” just so they could have the life of Richard Cory. (Robinson 13-14) The poem ends by saying, “And Richard Cory, one calm summer night, Went home and put a bullet through his head,” (Robinson 15-16). This poem points out the fact that many people believe that others are happy by the front they put forward. Although it was perceived that Richard Cory was a happy man with everything he could want in the world, he was actually depressed or messed up enough to put a bullet through his
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