They say call on the Angels. I say keep the Devil on speed dial.

-K-

Where is Your Faith?

“Young Goodman Brown” and Belonging

To what extent are people willing to go to belong? Do some put their faith into belonging or are they willing to give up their faith to belong? Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” is a look at faith and the desire to belong.

Young Goodman Brown and Other Short Stories

Humans are social creatures and several millennia of conditioning has developed a strong desire to belong to something larger than oneself. But that desire to belong may, at times, be contrary to what one believes. Goodman Brown , the protagonist, finds himself facing such a dilemma. Brown must decide where to place his faith (you’ll find Faith is a key element to the story if you haven’t read it yet). Does Brown make a deal with the Devil where, “…the good shrank not from the wicked, nor were the sinners abashed by the saints.” or does Brown hold true to what he believes? Brown knows that whatever his choice is there will be life long consequences and his faith (or Faith) will never be the same.

The desire to belong and to be part of a group is a common desire for most people. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” addresses this desire through a pretty explicit bit of symbolism, Faith. A take away for readers is to ask where do we put our faith? Do we put our faith in what we believe or do we give up our faith and make a deal with the Devil in order to belong, to be part of some special club?

-K-

Young Goodman Brown and Other Short Stories (1992/1884) by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Some Thoughts on Dancing With the Devil

or The Devil’s Due

Back in 1989 I was mesmerized by the question, “Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?” That question helped conjure a couple images for me when I read The Crucible a few years later. The first image is of young women dancing in a forest under a pale moon and it was innocent enough. The second image is one of a makeshift courtroom that accuses and condemns these young women of witchcraft, guilty or not

“Jack o’ Lanterns”

There are obvious appeals to dancing with the Devil (upper or lower case) but few consider the Devil’s due. Choices are made, words are spoken, and acts are carried out but consequences are often not considered. We think of the of allure of the pale moonlight but not of the condemnation of the court that follows. We live in a time long since Salem but has much changed? If you choose to dance, innocent or not, be prepared to find yourself in accused of witchcraft (or something of the sort), guilty or not.

-K-

Try as you might the Devil seems to know where to find you.

-K-

Give the Devil His Due: The Mix Tape

A Side

  1. “The Devil Wears a Suit and Tie”–Colter Wall
  2. “The Devil’s Right Hand”–Bob Seger
  3. “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”–The Charlie Daniels Band
  4. “The Devil Takes Crae of His Own”–Band of Skulls
  5. “Friend of the Devil”–Ramblin’ Jack Eliot
  6. “Speak of the Devil”–Chris Isaak
  7. “Seven Devils”–Florence and the Machine
  8. “Sympathy for the Devil”–The Rolling Stones
“Dock Jukebox”

B Side

  1. “Born By the Devil”–Lightnin’ Hopkins
  2. “Me and the Devil Blues”–Eric Clapton
  3. “The Devil Had a Hold of Me”–Gillian Welch
  4. “Me and the Devil”–Gill Scott-Heron
  5. “Preaching Blues (Up Jumped the Devil)”–Robert Johnson
  6. “The Devil’s Gonna Lie”–Otis Taylor
  7. “Devil’s Got to Burn”–James Blood Ulmer
  8. “Keep the Devil Down”–North Mississippi Allstars

-K-

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