The Devil in Disguise: Comparing and Contrasting the Devil Figure in "Where Are You Going; Where Have You Been?" "The Man in the Black Suit" and "Young Goodman Brown"

671 WordsDec 17, 20123 Pages
The Devil in Disguise “Even before he reached me, I recognized the aroma baking up from the skin under the suit--the smell of burned matches. The smell of sulfur. The man in the black suit was the Devil.” (King) A common theme among depictions of The Devil is that of unusual physical attributes. The Devil is depicted in three different stories (Joyce Carol Oates’ ‘Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?’, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s ‘Young Goodman Brown’, and Steven King’s ‘The Man In The Black Suit’) in three different ways, yet each description bares remarkable similarities in some aspects to the next. Themes common to the devil are that of his physical appearance or how he presents himself, his apparent supernatural…show more content…
I know your name and all about you, lots of things,” Arnold Friend said. He had not moved yet but stood still leaning back against the side of his jalopy. “I took a special interest in you, such a pretty girl, and found out all about you—like I know your parents and sister are gone somewheres and I know where and how long they’re going to be gone, and I know who you were with last night, and your best girl friend’s name is Betty. Right?’” (Oates) This quote shows that he knows everything about Connie. In ‘The Man in the Black Suit’ The Devil knows all about Gary and his family. He knows how Gary’s brother died. He knows why he died. Another thing that is universal in these depictions is the Devil’s victimology. In each story, his victim is young, naïve, and inexperienced. Gary is only nine years old. A nine-year-old is very gullible and easy to take advantage of. Young Goodman Brown is also naïve at least in his belief that all men and women are what they appear to be. Connie is a young, inexperienced, teenage girl. The devil can appear in any shape or form. He has been personified throughout history in literary works such as in Joyce Carol Oates’ ‘Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?’, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s ‘Young Goodman Brown’, and Steven King’s ‘The Man In The Black Suit’. In each he has

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