THE_FINAL_HUMAN_NATURE - 1 Essay#2 English 102-003 Our...

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1 Essay #2 September 25, 2008 English 102-003 Our Uncontrollable Destiny Human nature might be defined as the natural instincts that all humans have to satisfy or benefit themselves in some way. The human mind is born to think of ourselves before anyone else. When babies are born, their very first conceived thought is of something or of someone that satisfies their needs. Even psychologist, Abraham Maslow suggests a selfish nature in humans in his legendary “Hierarchy of Needs”. After already being born to focus on ourselves, as we get older, our minds start to come up with more complex ways to achieve self-fulfillment. Unfortunately, these new and complex characteristics we have developed to get what we want end up being harmful and cruel. Short story writers, William Faulkner, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Flannery O’Connor, each use a specific characteristic of human nature to show different ways in which mankind is harmful. Faulkner’s “A Rose for Emily”, Hawthorne’s, “Young Goodman Brown” and O’Connor’s, “Good Country
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2 People” all hold realistic examples showing what kind of dangers human nature conveys on others, as well as ourselves. In “A Rose for Emily”, Faulkner focuses on how selfishness is found in the gestures and reactions of secondary characters.   Describing the ordinary discussions the townspeople had amongst themselves, he says that, “As soon as the old people said ‘Poor Emily’, the whispering began” (98). The old people may have truly felt pity for Emily, but, by comparing her unstable behavior to their own, they found satisfaction in seeing that they were a lot better off than her. The “general babble” about Emily by the townspeople was not necessarily cruel; however, their fabricated concern and disturbing way of boosting their ego can be found even crueler than spoken words (Klein, 230). Faulkner also emphasizes the tendency for humanity to habitually follow the crowd in fear of being left alone. Throughout the story, he narrates using “we”, “speaking for the town of Jefferson and the South in general’’ (Dilworth, 251). Faulkner is explaining how human’s feed off of each other to gain confidence, rather than finding confidence through our independent views. In Dilworth’s words, without one, “neither can exist, as is, without the other” (251). “A Rose for Emily” focuses on the weak and dependent aspects of civilization; while at
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3 the same time, shows how “the cruelty of group thought” can be strong enough to mentally deteriorate someone (Klein, 230). In “Young Goodman Brown”, Hawthorne also emphasizes how weak and easily persuaded humans can be. In this case however, instead of pointing out the witnesses’ views, he focuses on the main character to “explore the uncertainties of belief that trouble a man’s mind” (ZHU-Xian-chun, 58). After Goodman Brown says farewell to his wife, Faith, he thinks of “what a wretch [he] is to leave on such an
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This note was uploaded on 11/11/2010 for the course ENG Eng 205 taught by Professor Unknown during the Spring '08 term at Louisiana State University in Shreveport.

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THE_FINAL_HUMAN_NATURE - 1 Essay#2 English 102-003 Our...

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