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The Use of Darkness and Night to Evoke Fear in Nathaniel Hawthorne's Young Goodman Brown and The Night Nurse by Joyce Carol Oates
Word Count: 604
In Hawthornes allegorical short story Young Goodman Brown and in The Night Nurse by Joyce Carol Oates darkness and night is used to evoke fear in the protagonist in each story As Young Goodman Brown bid farewell to his young wife Faith dusk turned to the darkness The trees make the forest appear darker Young Goodman Brown seems to be a man of determination He is afraid of leaving his young wife and of what may unfold from the deep hidden depths of forest darkness After the young man enters the tree line and rounds the crook in the road a creature of the dark speaks to Goodman and asks why he is late Young Goodman replies with a hesitance in his voice The fear builds slowly throughout the story but the plot is different in Joyce Carol Oats The Night Nurse In this piece there is anticipation Grace Burkhardt had a fear of dying from a blood clot in her leg Or perhaps it is the nurse of the night She pressed the buzzer and nothing happened Again she pressed Nothing Then she hears a voice although not very comforting to her Then a long pause maybe even minutes passed before someone came into the room Pain shoots through her leg then to the rest of her body She falls asleep into a deep sleep and she awakes abruptly to a dark night When she realizes shes in the hospital a terror flows through her body like the pain in her leg The room not totally dark due to the light left on by the nurse made unrecognizable images on the single glass window Again her mind is filled with fear of dying in a hospital bed Outside darkness arrives But outside the door in the hall she hears voices but when she holds her breath she no longer hears them This leads one to believe that it was
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