The tale of Young Goodman Brown,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne and the “The Rocking-Horse Winner,” by D. H. Lawrence are stories that use internal monologue, and symbolism to bring the reader inside the mind of its characters, exposing complicated inner battles of good and evil. Both authors use distorted reality as a metaphor for mental and spiritual chaos, confusion, and death as an inescapable consequence of sin.
The fragile nature of man is made known in the intimate thoughts and struggles shared through the internal monologues of Hester and Paul in the “Rocking-Horse Winner.”
D. H. Lawrence introduces Hester’s as a central character, exposing her innermost feelings, reflections of her thoughts confirm a tortured soul plagued with negativity and self-blame about who she was as a person and a mother. Hester’s materialistic and worldly attitude is consistently distracted by her insatiable desire for things speak to a void and emptiness much like her son Paul. The other characters are flat, the father is unlucky, therefore insignificant, the Uncle Oscar is like his sister, an opportunists and Basset may be the only one who genuinely cared for Paul.
The other main character in this story is complex and only described as whispers, odd sounds, strange looks, and actions. This is the demonic spirit that possesses Hester, and later Paul, the rocking horse, the house, and toys (Kennedy, 2013, p. 236). The spirit is given life through Hester and Paul’s thoughts, actions, and emotions. The increase in instance and loudness of the whispers of the house denotes the growing strength and power of the spirit. Paul has the most motivation, although innocent at first, he grows more vulnerable with age, as his desire to satisfy his mother increases. Throughout the story, Lawrence notes the demonic spirit with statements acknowledging its presence, for example; “Paul’s eyes were dark and his voice changed as he rode,” “Paul rode unaware of anything around him, and fell off the horse in the end,” “the house whispered louder, “There must be more money.” The horse is symbolic of the risk of gambling with sin, loss, and death. Revelation 6:5-8 speaks of a horse, “And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and hell followed with him.
In contrast the story of “Young Goodman Brown written by Nathaniel Hawthorne is the tale of Goodman Brown, a character that morphs into everything around him as the story develops. The forest is a character in that it represents a large part of the confusion presented to Goodman because he chooses to enter. Characters like the old man, the women, faith are all implicit or explicit. Goodman himself does not know who he is....