What is one similarity between the narrators of "This is What is Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona" and "Young Goodman Brown"?

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oblackmon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both the narrators in “This is What It Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona” and “Young Goodman Brown” have a somewhat detached relationship with the characters and the actions in their respective stories.

Besides simply sharing a third person point of view, the narrators are relating the stories with limited attachment to the characters' feelings and actions. For example, in “This is What it Means,” the narrator is able to tell small details about what Victor is thinking, but the narrator is unable to fully convey the weight of the emotion and social aspects of Victor’s experience (“Thomas shook his head, closed his eyes, but no stories came to him, no words or music. He just wanted to go home, to lie in his bed and let his dreams tell his stories for him.”) Similarly, the narrator in “Young Goodman Brown” comes across as separate from Goodman Brown’s thoughts and actions, and is also unable to fully convey the weight of the social aspects of the story (“At the word, Goodman Brown stepped forth from the shadow of the trees and approached the congregation, with whom he felt a loathful brotherhood by the sympathy of all that was wicked in his heart”).

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Young Goodman Brown

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