English Creative Paper

Table of Contents

English Creative Paper
English Creative Paper

Write a creative prequel or sequel to a short story you have read/or heard about in class. You may also add a scene. Or you may write an original short story. (1,000-2,500 words)

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  1. Keep in mind the elements of fiction (characters, setting, plot, point of view, symbolism, tone, theme and language) as you shape your story. These elements should be clear so that your reader can identify each of them in your story.
  2. The plot needs to include a exposition (background/beginning), conflicts (rising action), climax and resolution (ending)
  3. SHOW rather than tell. Use descriptive language, including the five senses, and dialogue.
  4. If you create the prequel or sequel, make sure there is a clear connection to the actual short story. 

Write a narrative work explaining how the main character became the way that he/she did. In the prequel, you will need to keep a similar theme and main characters as found in the original. However, you can change some of the elements such as the setting or POV or add a character.

For example, how did the protagonist in “The Lone Ranger and Tonto have a Fist Fight in Heaven” become an alcoholic and lose hope.
Explain the events that led to or caused the protagonist to leave the reservation before the story begins. Reread the story to pick up clues. Use vivid language and dialogue. Most of all, be creative.

Write a narrative work explaining what happens to the main character after the ending of the short story. You will need to keep a similar theme and main characters in the sequel ; otherwise, you can change some of the elements such as the setting or POV or add a character.

For example, what kind of parent or wife will the mother in “Fiesta, 1980” be like in the future. Explain the events that cause her to stay in the marriage or leave her abusive husband. Reread the story to pick up clues. Use vivid language and dialogue. Most of all, be creative.

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Vampires in the Lemon Grove


Presented by: Xinfan Su, Peirong Wang, Dandan Zhou, Linh Cao

Author – Karen Russell

American fiction writer

DOB: July 10, 1981

Photo credit: Michael Lionstar


2003 B.A. Northwestern University

2006 M.F.A. program Columbia University

Author – Karen Russell (cont.)


2006 St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves

2011 Swamplandia! (a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize)

2013 Vampires in the Lemon Grove


2012 National Magazine Award for fiction

2013 MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant”



loneliness, uniqueness, ugliness, terror that dread of an unspeakably private, unshared future

Find a balance between the humanity of the characters and their fantastic traits

Monsters are often slaves to ungovernable appetites and desires, they are powerless over their own impulses, they are brutally violent. And also exiled from love and community, hunted and hated, etc.

to use the fantastic elements as an opportunity to draw forth and think through some of the more frightening and troubling aspects of our human nature—the ways we deal with or deny and fail to deal with our “monstrous” longings.

Background (cont.)

A funhouse mirror for human nature

Face challenges as any long-married human couple

What would “’til death do us part” look like from the everlasting vantage of a vampire?

Find a balance between the humanity of the characters and their fantastic traits

Monsters are often slaves to ungovernable appetites and desires, they are powerless over their own impulses, they are brutally violent. And also exiled from love and community, hunted and hated, etc.

to use the fantastic elements as an opportunity to draw forth and think through some of the more frightening and troubling aspects of our human nature—the ways we deal with or deny and fail to deal with our “monstrous” longings.

English Creative Paper


Time: 19th century

Place: Sorrento, a old town in Italy

Settle down in the lemon grove – a safe haven

A grove of luscious lemons in Sorrento. Photo credit: Rachel Olding

Sorrento is an old town in Italy where Clyde and Magreb have come to live in a lemon grove. The old-world town is reflective of the old world nature of Clyde and Magreb as vampires, and becomes a safe haven for them as they realize they can subsist on lemons.

Sorrento is also the home of Fila and the lemon grove workers. It is in Sorrento, proper, that Clyde and Magreb go to see a movie which Magreb leaves early. On his way home, Clyde encounters Fila in Sorrento, during which times his true nature comes out when he feeds on, and kills Fila.



An old Vampire looks like an Italian “nonno”, small, kindly

Live in a lemon grove in Sorrento, Italy


The wife of Clyde, vampire

Characters (cont.)


A teenage girl, mans a wooden store at the back of the grove

The only human knows Clyde and Magreb’s secrets

Plot Summary

Clyde and Magreb, as the vampires no longer drinking human blood, also found out that many things they used to believed to be true about vampires are incorrect. They travelled around the world to find the substitute foods for blood, and they finally settled in a lemon grove in Sorrento, Italy, because lemons could relieve their thirst.

Travelled around the world to find the substitute goods of human blood: mint tea, coconut, jet black coffee, apple, rubber balls, jackal’s milk, cherry coke

Haunting liquid chimeras everywhere

“The lemons relieve our thirst without ending it”

The blood does nothing; dont need to sleep in the coffin

Plot Summary (cont.)

However, having lemon juice couldn’t solve the starving. After enduring the desire of blood for a long time, Clyde lost his control and killed Fila for blood one night after the film.

Travelled around the world to find the substitute goods of human blood: mint tea, coconut, jet black coffee, apple, rubber balls, jackal’s milk, cherry coke

Haunting liquid chimeras everywhere

“The lemons relieve our thirst without ending it”

The blood does nothing; dont need to sleep in the coffin

Plot Summary(cont.)

Exposition: Memory

Rising Action: Vampire Movie

Climax: Killed Fila

Resolution: Open ending

Point of View

First person point of view

The story is told through Clyde’s point of view, which makes readers feel more real and understand the emotion more easily.

Tone/literary devices


In general: Weird & Creepy

Peaceful Happy Horrific

Literary devices

Flashback: recall the past experiences

Simile: “her voice is beautiful, like gravel underfoot”


Vampire- everyday people

Blood-true nature of vampire, or the darkside of people

Lemon- a substitute for blood

Fila- restraint


· The vampires symbolize everyday people, that seem normal on the outside but have their inner struggles that drive them towards negative actions to aliviate the stress/addiction/appetite

· The lemon symbolizes a type of drug (depressant), or escape that the vampire’s use to battle against their blood addiction.


The horrible true nature of individuals

A dark romance between Clyde and Magreb, the mortal and immortal of love

Illustration by Clifford Harper/agraphia.co.uk

In the story, horror appears in a very classic way through the existence of vampires. Clyde and his wife, both vampires, deny their true nature as vampires by refusing to drink blood. Clyde’s true nature wins out in his horrific killing of Fila to drink her blood late in the story.

The relationship btw M n C is hard to say because they both have an endless longevity so for Clyde, he think that their love is immortal however, Magreb leave Clyde in the end that for Clyde, nothing can last forever

Quotes and Explanation

“I once pictured time as a black magnifying glass and myself as a microscopic flightless insect trapped in that circle of night. But then Magreb came along, and eternity ceased to frighten me” (Russell 465).

He has spent most of his life in the dark, literally and figuratively: sleeping in coffins, drinking blood, aping the manner and style of those vampire tales the villagers told back during the Enlightenment. Not until he meets Magreb, his future wife, and she asks at what point he figured out “the blood did nothing” (p. 10), does the vampire begin to question the false narrative that he has been feasting on.

They searching for home and food for alternity plan that last forever. That is immortality of their relationship

Frighten with his true nature and change when he meets Magreb

Quotes and Explanation

“I blinked down at a little blond child and then saw that my two hands were shaking violently, soundlessly, like old friends wishing not to burden me with their troubles. I dropped the candies into the children’s bags, thinking: You small mortals don’t realize the power of your stories” (Russell 471).

One Halloween, after his relationship with Magreb has opened his eyes. he is faced with children dressed as vampire hunters, bedecked with necklaces of garlic

Quotes and Explanation

“‘I’m tired, Clyde.’

‘Don’t you want to know what happens?’ My voice is more frantic than I intend it to be.

‘I already know what happens’”(Russell 475).

Foreshadowing – Clyde and Magreb go to the cinema to watch a dracula movie; however, Magreb leave Clyde with a sentence “I already know what happen” and that is a kind of foreshadowing of Magreb know what is the nature of dracular which also vampire ….

Works Cited

Russell, Karen. “Vampires in the Lemon Grove.” 40 Short Stories: A Portable Anthology, 5th Edition, edited by Beverly Lawn, Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2017, pp. 745-1894

“Karen Russell.” Penguin Random House, 16 Nov. 2018, https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/70463/karen-russell/.

“Karen Russell.” Mac Arthur Foundation, 16 Nov. 2018, https://www.macfound.org/fellows/902/.

Russell, Karen Interview by Mason Henderson. The Poetry and Literature Center at the Library of Congress,

www.loc.gov/poetry/interviews/russell.html . Accessed 16 Nov. 2018.

Thank You!

Raise your hand: Yes/NO Q&A

Anyone think you have a dark side?

Did you suffer from it?

Did you try to overcome it or just hide it?

Did you succeed or fail? If not…

=>at least one true nature inside anyone and you cannot avoid it

Discussion Question

Do you think you have a dark side?

Do you suffer from it?

Do you try to overcome it (failed or succeed) or just hide it?


40 Short Stories A Portable Anthology


40 Short Stories A Portable Anthology

Fifth Edition


Adelphi University


For Robert Lawn

For Bedford/St. Martin’s Vice President, Editorial, Macmillan Learning Humanities: Edwin Hill Editorial Director, English: Karen S. Henry Executive Editor for Literature: Vivian Garcia Senior Executive Editor: Stephen A. Scipione Production Editor: Pamela Lawson Senior Media Producer: Allison Hart Production Supervisor: Robert Cherry Marketing Manager: Sophia Latorre-Zengierski Project Management: Jouve Permissions Manager: Kalina Ingham Text Permissions Researcher: Arthur Johnson Senior Art Director: Anna Palchik Cover Design: John Callahan Cover Photo: Paul Moore/Arcangel Composition: Jouve Printing and Binding: RR Donnelley and Sons

Copyright © 2017, 2013, 2009, 2004 by Bedford/St. Martin’s.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, except as may be expressly permitted by the applicable copyright statutes or in writing by the Publisher.

Manufactured in the United States of America.

1 0 9 8 7 6 f  e d c b a

For information, write: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 75 Arlington Street, Boston, MA 02116 (617-399-4000)

ISBN 978-1-319-11042-0



Text acknowledgments and copyrights appear at the back of the book on pages 534–36, which constitute an extension of the copyright page. Art acknowledgments and copyrights appear on the same page as the art selections they cover.


Preface for Instructors

The fifth edition of 40 Short Stories: A Portable Anthology, like its predecessors, is a compact collection of highly regarded, very teachable stories by respected authors. Stories of depth, power, and recognized artistry are included in a balance of the traditional and the contemporary. Exciting young writers such as Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Junot Díaz, Jhumpa Lahiri, and Yiyun Li—all born after 1965—join those who forged, and now represent, the classic tradition, among them Anton Chekhov, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Katherine Mansfield, Herman Melville, and Edgar Allan Poe. The fifth edition includes more contemporary stories than did previous editions. Fully a quarter of the selections were published in the past 20 years, within the lifetime of most students likely to be reading this edition in a college course.

As the short story tradition has broadened, the valuable has become more various. While instructors want a strong representation of the classic tradition, they also consistently ask for a collection that offers wide cultural and artistic variety. Accordingly, while most of our authors lived or now live in the United States, more than one-quarter were born or now live in other countries: Antigua, Austria-Hungary, Canada, China, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, England, Ireland, New Zealand, Nigeria, and Russia.

The fifth edition, like the four that preceded it, preserves the editorial features that have always defined 40 Short Stories, and benefits instructors and students by being inexpensive, easy to read, and light to carry. While assembling a vibrant short story collection has always been my paramount purpose, I also seek to help students understand and appreciate, without intrusive critical breaks, writers’ imagination and skill. The format is simple and designed to be useful in a wide variety of teaching situations, from general introduction-to-literature and short fiction courses to creative writing workshops and composition classes. The stories are arranged chronologically by date of the authors’ birth, to suggest the evolution of the short story tradition, with the date of publication appearing at the end


of each story to further locate the fiction within historical contexts. Apart from occasional footnotes within the stories, critical assistance is placed at the back of the book, so as not to be obtrusive or immediately influence close reading. This critical apparatus includes biographical notes on the authors in the anthology; a glossary of literary terms; a section on how to read short stories closely; and a section on how to write about short fiction.


The publisher conducted a nationwide survey of instructors who had used the fourth edition, and also canvassed a significant number of instructors who taught with other fiction anthologies. The comments and suggestions of all these teachers encouraged me to make the following updates and improvements to the fifth edition:

Thirteen new stories, many of them fresh and recent. While many instructors who used the fourth edition requested that the new edition include fresh, recent selections, they also wished to maintain the anthology’s balance of contemporary and classic fiction that has proven to be appealing to students. With this in mind, I have replaced thirteen of the forty stories. Fourth edition authors T. Coraghessan Boyle, Sandra Cisneros, Junot Díaz, Gabriel García Márquez, Franz Kafka, and Katherine Mansfield remain in the fifth edition, but are represented by different stories. By popular demand, Cisneros’s “The House on Mango Street” and García Márquez’s “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings” are restored from earlier editions, as is Margaret Atwood’s classic metafictional narrative “Happy Endings.” Authors entirely new to 40 Short Stories include celebrated contemporary writers Edith Pearlman, Mark Haddon, Yiyun Li, Joshua Ferris, Lauren Groff, and Karen Russell, all of whose reputations as exemplary writers of fiction have only increased since the fourth edition was published.

An alternative table of contents for increased teaching flexibility. At the front of the book, following the chronological contents, I have added another kind of table of contents, “Other Ways into the Stories: Alternative Contents.” Here the stories are categorized according to particular literary elements and themes that may be useful for planning or organizing a course. The literary elements include plot, character, setting, point of view, style, tone and irony, and symbol and metaphor, with both classic and recent stories included in every category. The thematic categories are wide ranging, with a dozen groupings focusing on broad, familiar areas such as “Families” and “Love and Hate” as well as more specialized topics such as


“Cultural Confrontations,” “The Lure of the Forbidden,” and “Myth and Archetype.” These groupings by literary element and theme are not meant to be exhaustive but rather pedagogically suggestive. Certainly, the craft and meaning of stories such as “A Rose for Emily,” “Sonny’s Blues,” and “Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” resist reductive categorization. Certainly, many other thematic considerations are possible. But I hope the options I have provided will be of use, depending on the kind of course you are teaching and the reading and writing goals you have for your students.

Checklists that aid reading and writing about fiction. The fifth edition augments its back-of-the-book assistance with new checklists that walk students through the key steps to close critical reading and writing. The “Reading Short Stories Closely” and “Writing about Short Stories” sections conclude with these summative lists.

The 2010 Nobel Prize–winning Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa reminds us that fiction has the awesome power to develop and liberate the imagination of the writer and reader. I hope the stories I have chosen and the assistance I have provided help open the imagination of your students to fiction’s power.


I am grateful to the instructors who responded so thoughtfully to our queries about their experience with the fourth edition: Alan Ambrisco, University of Akron; Jane Arnold, SUNY Adirondack Community College; George H. Bailey, Wentworth Institute of Technology; Jessica Best, SUNY Adirondack Community College; Abby Coykendall, Eastern Michigan University; Lila Harper, Central Washington University; Michael Herman, Molloy College; Emily Isaacson, Heidelberg University; Bonni Miller, University of Maryland—Eastern Shore; Tim Oldakowski, Slippery Rock University; Thor Polukoshko, Langara College; Alison Powell, Oakland University; Heidi Stoffer, Cleveland State University; Susan Stone, Loras College; Melanie Sumner, Kennesaw State University; Stephen Tuttle, Brigham Young University; and Robert Vettese, Southern Maine Community College.

I also remain thankful to those who reviewed earlier editions of the book, going back to the turn of the millennium: Sonya Alvarado, Eastern Michigan University; Tom Averill, Washburn University; Mark Baker, Langara College; Dianne Bateman, Champlain College, Saint-Lambert, Québec; Mark Bilbrey, University of Iowa; Daniel Boscaljon, University


of Iowa; William Bradley, Chowan University; Ayse Bucak, Florida Atlantic University; Shannon Bush, El Camino College; Jeff Chan, Austin Community College; Terence A. Dalrymple, Angelo State University; Susan Dalton, Alamance Community College; Steven Daniels, Southern Methodist University; Donald Deeley, Temple University; Charles Donaldson, Santa Monica College; Frank Donoghue, The Ohio State University; Elise Donovan, Union County College; Africa Fine, Palm Beach State College; George Greenlee, Missouri Southern State University; Christine Guedon-DeConcini, Rutgers University; James Guthrie, Wright State University; William David Halloran, Indiana University; Barbara Henning, Long Island University; Kelly Jarvis, Central Connecticut State University; Stephen Jones, University of Colorado at Boulder; Renee Karp, Vanier College; Patricia S. Kennedy, University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill; Alice Kinder, Virginia Tech; Carrie Krantz, Washtenaw Community College; Brenda Kwon, Honolulu Community College; Ruth Lane, Loyola Marymount University; Don S. Lawson, Lander University; Simon Lewis, College of Charleston; Cory Lund, Southwestern Illinois College; Courtney Mauk, College of Staten Island/CUNY; Betsy McCully, Kingsborough Community College/CUNY; Adam McKible, John Jay College of Criminal Justice; Mildred R. Mickle, University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill; Sturgis Monteith, Northwest Mississippi Community College; Meg Morgan, University of North Carolina—Charlotte; Faye Moskowitz, George Washington University; Carolyn Nelson, West Virginia University; Brian Norman, Loyola University Maryland; Michele A. Panossian, Lehman College/CUNY; Jude Roy, Madisonville Community College; Chris Ruiz- Velasco, California State University—Fullerton; Margot Singer, Denison University; Will Smiley, University of Iowa; Natalie Yasmin Soto, Cornell University; Michael Steinman, Nassau Community College; Robert Love Taylor, Bucknell University; Gary Tessmer, University of Pittsburgh— Bradford; Deborah Chappel Traylor, Arkansas State University; Catherine Tudish, Dartmouth College; James G. Van Belle, Edmonds Community College; Annette Wannamaker, Eastern Michigan University; John Wegner, Angelo State University; Jess Westover, University of Nevada— Reno; Lawrence Wharton, University of Alabama—Birmingham; Holly A. Wheeler, Monroe Community College; Charlene Williams, Ocean County College; Charles Yarnoff, Northwestern University; John Zackel, Portland Community College—Rock Creek. Some of these reviewers may have retired or moved on by now, but they all left their mark on earlier editions of 40 Short Stories.

My deep thanks to all those at Bedford/St. Martin’s who devoted their


professional knowledge and skill to the creation of this book: especially Steve Scipione, for his sophisticated and profound knowledge of literature and publishing and his compassionate and cooperative involvement in the making of this book. Others in editorial positions I wish to thank include Edwin Hill, Vice President Editorial, Humanities; Karen Henry, Editorial Director; Vivian Garcia, Acquistions Editor; and especially Julia Domenicucci for all her assistance in matters of manuscript preparation and last-minute problem-solving. In the production department, thanks go to Elise Kaiser, Managing Editor, and Pamela Lawson, Production Editor. I am grateful to Permissions Manager Kalina Ingham and to Arthur Johnson, who cleared the permissions for the fifth edition.

I wish to thank my daughters Pamela Lawn-Williams and Hilary Lawn Cantilina for their patience and encouragement of this task, and to thank my late husband, artist and teacher Bob Lawn, for his love and unswerving support of my writing and research. I dedicate this book to Robert Lawn, artist and teacher.

—Beverly Lawn


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Preface for Instructors Other Ways into the Stories: Alternative Contents


EDGAR ALLAN POE The Cask of Amontillado

HERMAN MELVILLE Bartleby, the Scrivener

KATE CHOPIN The Story of an Hour

ANTON CHEKHOV The Lady with the Dog




FRANZ KAFKA A Hunger Artist





Hills Like White Elephants EUDORA WELTY






A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings JOHN UPDIKE




Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been? TONI CADE BAMBARA


Happy Endings ALICE WALKER

Everyday Use TIM O’BRIEN

The Things They Carried T. CORAGHESSAN BOYLE

The Night of the Satellite LESLIE MARMON SILKO

The Man to Send Rain Clouds



AMY TAN Two Kinds

SANDRA CISNEROS The House on Mango Street


SHERMAN ALEXIE The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven

JHUMPA LAHIRI Interpreter of Maladies

JUNOT DÍAZ Fiesta, 1980

YIYUN LI A Man Like Him



LAUREN GROFF At the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners

KAREN RUSSELL Vampires in the Lemon Grove

Reading Short Stories Closely

Writing about Short Stories

Biographical Notes on the Authors

Glossary of Literary Terms


Index of Authors and Titles


Other Ways into the Stories: Alternative Contents


PLOT Edgar Allan Poe, “The Cask of Amontillado” Kate Chopin, “The Story of an Hour” Eudora Welty, “A Worn Path” Shirley Jackson, “The Lottery” Edith Pearlman, “Inbound” Margaret Atwood, “Happy Endings” Yiyun Li, “A Man Like Him”

CHARACTER Herman Melville, “Bartleby, the Scrivener” Anton Chekhov, “The Lady with the Dog” Willa Cather, “Paul’s Case” Katherine Mansfield, “Miss Brill” Flannery O’Connor, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” Jhumpa Lahiri, “Interpreter of Maladies”

SETTING Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown” Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper” William Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily” Edith Pearlman, “Inbound” Joshua Ferris, “The Breeze” Lauren Groff, “At the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners”


POINT OF VIEW Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper” Katherine Mansfield, “Miss Brill” William Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily” James Baldwin, “Sonny’s Blues” Sandra Cisneros, “The House on Mango Street” Junot Díaz, “Fiesta, 1980” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “Birdsong”

STYLE, TONE, IRONY Herman Melville, “Bartleby, the Scrivener” William Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily” Ernest Hemingway, “Hills Like White Elephants” Flannery O’Connor, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” Raymond Carver, “Cathedral” Toni Cade Bambara, “The Lesson” Jamaica Kincaid, “Girl”

SYMBOL AND METAPHOR James Joyce, “Araby” Gabriel García Márquez, “A Very Old Man with Enormous

Wings” 40 Short Stories: John Updike, “A & P” Tim O’Brien, “The Things They Carried” T. Coraghessan Boyle, “The Night of the Satellite” Mark Haddon, “The Gun” Lauren Groff, “At the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners”


ARTISTIC EXPRESSION Willa Cather, “Paul’s Case” Franz Kafka, “A Hunger Artist” James Baldwin, “Sonny’s Blues” Raymond Carver, “Cathedral” Margaret Atwood, “Happy Endings”


CULTURAL CONFRONTATIONS Ralph Ellison, “Battle Royal” Toni Cade Bambara, “The Lesson” Alice Walker, “Everyday Use” Sherman Alexie, “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in

Heaven” Yiyun Li, “A Man Like Him”

CULTURAL DIFFERENCES James Joyce, “Araby” Leslie Marmon Silko, “The Man to Send Rain Clouds” Amy Tan, “Two Kinds” Jhumpa Lahiri, “Interpreter of Maladies” Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “Birdsong”

FAMILIES Edith Pearlman, “Inbound” Alice Walker, “Everyday Use” Amy Tan, “Two Kinds” Sandra Cisneros, “The House on Mango Street” Junot Díaz, “Fiesta, 1980” Lauren Groff, “At the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners”

INNOCENCE AND EXPERIENCE Willa Cather, “Paul’s Case” James Joyce, “Araby” Ralph Ellison, “Battle Royal” 40 Short Stories: John Updike, “A & P” Joyce Carol Oates, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You

Been?” Toni Cade Bambara, “The Lesson” Junot Díaz, “Fiesta, 1980”

JOURNEYS Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown” James Joyce, “Araby” Eudora Welty, “A Worn Path”


Edith Pearlman, “Inbound” Toni Cade Bambara, “The Lesson” Tim O’Brien, “The Things They Carried” T. Coraghessan Boyle, “The Night of the Satellite” Joshua Ferris, “The Breeze”

LOVE AND HATE Edgar Allan Poe, “The Cask of Amontillado” Kate Chopin, “The Story of an Hour” Anton Chekhov, “The Lady with the Dog” Ernest Hemingway, “Hills Like White Elephants” Margaret Atwood, “Happy Endings” T. Coraghessan Boyle, “The Night of the Satellite” Joshua Ferris, “The Breeze” Lauren Groff, “At the Round Earth’s Imagined Corners”

THE LURE OF THE FORBIDDEN Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Young Goodman Brown” James Joyce, “Araby” James Baldwin, “Sonny’s Blues” Joyce Carol Oates, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You

Been?” Mark Haddon, “The Gun” Karen Russell, “Vampires in the Lemon Grove”

MYTH AND ARCHETYPE Franz Kafka, “A Hunger Artist” Eudora Welty, “A Worn Path” Gabriel García Márquez, “A Very Old Man with Enormous

Wings” Joyce Carol Oates, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You

Been?” Leslie Marmon Silko, “The Man to Send Rain Clouds” Sherman Alexie, “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in

Heaven” Karen Russell, “Vampires in the Lemon Grove”


STORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD Anton Chekhov, “The Lady with the Dog” (Russia) James Joyce, “Araby” (Ireland) Franz Kafka, “A Hunger Artist” (then Austria-Hungary, now

Czech Republic) Katherine Mansfield, “Miss Brill” (New Zealand) Gabriel García Márquez, “A Very Old Man with Enormous

Wings” (Colombia) Margaret Atwood, “Happy Endings” (Canada) Jamaica Kincaid, “Girl” (Antigua) Mark Haddon, “The Gun” (England) Jhumpa Lahiri, “Interpreter of Maladies” (India) Junot Díaz, “Fiesta, 1980” (Dominican Republic) Yiyun Li, “A Man Like Him” (China) Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, “Birdsong”(Nigeria)

SUSPENSE AND TERROR Edgar Allan Poe, “The Cask of Amontillado” Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “The Yellow Wallpaper” William Faulkner, “A Rose for Emily” Shirley Jackson, “The Lottery” Joyce Carol Oates, “Where Are You Going, Where Have You

Been?” Mark Haddon, “The Gun” Karen Russell, “Vampires in the Lemon Grove”

YOUTH AND AGE Willa Cather, “Paul’s Case” Katherine Mansfield, “Miss Brill” Eudora Welty, “A Worn Path” Flannery O’Connor, “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” 40 Short Stories: John Updike, “A & P” Tony Cade Bambara, “The Lesson” Jamaica Kincaid, “Girl” Karen Russell, “Vampires in the Lemon Grove”




Young Goodman Brown came forth at sunset into the street at Salem village; but put his head back, after crossing the threshold, to exchange a parting kiss with his young wife. And Faith, as the wife was aptly named, thrust her own pretty head into the street, letting the wind play with the pink ribbons of her cap while she called to Goodman Brown.

“Dearest heart,” whispered she, softly and rather sadly, when her lips were close to his ear, “prithee put off your journey until sunrise and sleep in your own bed to-night. A lone woman is troubled with such dreams and such thoughts that she’s afeared of herself sometimes. Pray tarry with me this night, dear husband, of all nights in the year.”

“My love and my Faith,” replied young Goodman Brown, “of all nights in the year, this one night must I tarry away from thee. My journey, as thou callest it, forth and back again, must needs be done ’twixt now and sunrise. What, my sweet, pretty wife, dost thou doubt me already, and we but three months married?”

“Then God bless you!” said Faith, with the pink ribbons, “and may you find all well when you come back.”

“Amen!” cried Goodman Brown. “Say thy prayers, dear Faith, and go to bed at dusk, and no harm will come to thee.”

So they parted; and the young man pursued his way until, being about to turn the corner by the meeting-house, he looked back and saw the head of Faith still peeping after him with a melancholy air, in spite of her pink ribbons.

“Poor little Faith!” thought he, for his heart smote him. “What a wretch am I to leave her on such an errand! She talks of dreams, too. Methought as she spoke there was trouble in her face, as if a dream had warned her


what work is to be done to-night. But no, no; ’t would kill her to think it. Well, she’s a blessed angel on earth, and after this one night I’ll cling to her skirts and follow her to heaven.”

With this excellent resolve for the future, Goodman Brown felt himself justified in making more haste on his present evil purpose. He had taken a dreary road, darkened by all the gloomiest trees of the forest, which barely stood aside to let the narrow path creep through, and closed immediately behind. It was all as lonely as could be; and there is this peculiarity in such a solitude, that the traveller knows not who may be concealed by the innumerable trunks and the thick boughs overhead; so that with lonely footsteps he may yet be passing through an unseen multitude.

“There may be a devilish Indian behind every tree,” said Goodman Brown to himself; and he glanced fearfully behind him as he added, “What if the devil himself should be at my very elbow!”

His head being turned back, he passed a crook of the road, and, looking forward again, beheld the figure of a man, in grave and decent attire, seated at the foot of an old tree. He arose at Goodman Brown’s approach and walked onward side by side with him.

“You are late, Goodman Brown,” said he. “The clock of the Old South was striking as I came through Boston, and that is full fifteen minutes agone.”

“Faith kept me back a while,” replied the young man, with a tremor in his voice, caused by the sudden appearance of his companion, though not wholly unexpected.

It was now deep dusk in the forest, and deepest in that part of it where these two were journeying. As nearly as could be discerned, the second traveller was about fifty years old, apparently in the same rank of life as Goodman Brown, and bearing a considerable resemblance to him, though perhaps more in expression than features. Still they might have been taken for father and son. And yet, though the elder person was as simply clad as the younger, and as simple in manner too, he had an indescribable air of one who knew the world, and who would not have felt abashed at the governor’s dinner table or in King William’s court, were it possible that his affairs should call him thither. But the only thing about him that could be fixed upon as remarkable was his staff, which bore the likeness of a great black snake, so curiously wrought that it might almost be seen to twist and wriggle itself like a living serpent. This, of course, must have been an ocular deception, assisted by the uncertain light.

“Come, Goodman Brown,” cried his fellow-traveller, “this is a dull pace for the beginning of a journey. Take my staff, if you are so soon weary.”


“Friend,” said the other, exchanging his slow pace for a full stop, “having kept covenant by meeting thee here, it is my purpose now to return whence I came. I have scruples touching the matter thou wot’st of.”

“Sayest thou so?” replied he of the serpent, smiling apart. “Let us walk on, nevertheless, reasoning as we go; and if I convince thee not thou shalt turn back. We are but a little way in the forest yet.”

“Too far! too far!” exclaimed the goodman, unconsciously resuming his walk. “My father never went into the woods on such an errand, nor his father before him. We have been a race of honest men and good Christians since the days of the martyrs; and shall I be the first of the name of Brown that ever took this path and kept—”

“Such company, thou wouldst say,” observed the elder person, interpreting his pause. “Well said, Goodman Brown! I have been as well acquainted with your family as with ever a one among the Puritans; and that’s no trifle to say. I helped your grandfather, the constable, when he lashed the Quaker woman so smartly through the streets of Salem; and it was I that brought your father a pitch-pine knot, kindled at my own hearth, to set fire to an Indian village, in King Philip’s war.1 They were my good friends, both; and many a pleasant walk have we had along this path, and returned merrily after midnight. I would fain be friends with you for their sake.”

“If it be as thou sayest,” replied Goodman Brown, “I marvel they never spoke of these matters; or, verily, I marvel not, seeing that the least rumor of the sort would have driven them from New England. We are a people of prayer, and good works to boot, and abide no such wickedness.”

“Wickedness or not,” said the traveller with the twisted staff, “I have a very general acquaintance here in New England. The deacons of many a church have drunk the communion wine with me; the selectmen of divers towns make me their chairman; and a majority of the Great and General Court are firm supporters of my interest. The governor and I, too—But these are state secrets.”

“Can this be so?” cried Goodman Brown, with a stare of amazement at his undisturbed companion. “Howbeit, I have nothing to do with the governor and council; they have their own ways, and are no rule for a simple husbandman like me. But, were I to go on with thee, how should I meet the eye of that good old man, our minister, at Salem village? Oh, his voice would make me tremble both Sabbath day and lecture day.”

Thus far the elder traveller had listened with due gravity; but now burst into a fit of irrepressible mirth, shaking himself so violently that his snake- like staff actually seemed to wriggle in sympathy.

“Ha! ha! ha!” shouted he again and again; then composing himself,


“Well, go on, Goodman Brown, go on; but, prithee, don’t kill me with laughing.”

“Well, then, to end the matter at once,” said Goodman Brown, considerably nettled, “there is my wife, Faith. It would break her dear little heart; and I’d rather break my own.”

“Nay, if that be the case,” answered the other, “e’en go thy ways, Goodman Brown. I would not for twenty old women like the one hobbling before us that Faith should come to any harm.”

As he spoke he pointed his staff at a female figure on the path, in whom Goodman Brown recognized a very pious and exemplary dame, who had taught him his catechism in youth, and was still his moral and spiritual adviser, jointly with the minister and Deacon Gookin.

“A marvel, truly that Goody Cloyse should be so far in the wilderness at nightfall,” said he. “But with your leave, friend, I shall take a cut through the woods until we have left this Christian woman behind. Being a stranger to you, she might ask whom I was consorting with and whither I was going.”

“Be it so,” said his fellow-traveller. “Betake you to the woods, and let me keep the path.”

Accordingly the young man turned aside, but took care to watch his companion, who advanced softly along the road until he had come within a staff’s length of the old dame. She, meanwhile, was making the best of her way, with singular speed for so aged a woman, and mumbling some indistinct words—a prayer, doubtless—as she went. The traveller put forth his staff and touched her withered neck with what seemed the serpent’s tail.

“The devil!” screamed the pious old lady. “Then Goody Cloyse knows her old friend?” observed the traveller,

confronting her and leaning on his writhing stick. “Ah, forsooth, and is it your worship indeed?” cried the good dame.

“Yea, truly is it, and in the very image of my old gossip, Goodman Brown, the grandfather of the silly fellow that now is. But—would your worship believe it?—my broomstick hath strangely disappeared, stolen, as I suspect, by that unhanged witch, Goody Cory, and that, too, when I was all anointed with the juice of smallage, and cinquefoil, and wolf’s bane—”2

“Mingled with fine wheat and the fat of a new-born babe,” said the shape of old Goodman Brown.

“Ah, your worship knows the recipe,” cried the old lady, cackling aloud. “So, as I was saying, being all ready for the meeting, and no horse to ride on, I made up my mind to foot it; for they tell me there is a nice young man to be taken into communion to-night. But now your good


worship will lend me your arm, and we shall be there in a twinkling.” “That can hardly be,” answered her friend. “I may not spare you my

arm, Goody Cloyse; but here is my staff, if you will.” So saying, he threw it down at her feet, where, perhaps, it assumed life,

being one of the rods which its owner had formerly lent to the Egyptian magi. Of this fact, however, Goodman Brown could not take cognizance. He had cast up his eyes in astonishment, and, looking down again, beheld neither Goody Cloyse nor the serpentine staff, but his fellow-traveller alone, who waited for him as calmly as if nothing had happened.

“That old woman taught me my catechism,” said the young man; and there was a world of meaning in this simple comment.

They continued to walk onward, while the elder traveller exhorted his companion to make good speed and persevere in the path, discoursing so aptly that his arguments seemed rather to spring up in the bosom of his auditor than to be suggested by himself. As they went, he plucked a branch of maple to serve for a walking stick, and began to strip it of the twigs and little boughs, which were wet with evening dew. The moment his fingers touched them they became strangely withered and dried up as with a week’s sunshine. Thus the pair proceeded, at a good free pace, until suddenly, in a gloomy hollow of the road, Goodman Brown sat himself down on the stump of a tree and refused to go any farther.

“Friend,” he said, stubbornly, “my mind is made up. Not another step will I budge on this errand. What if a wretched old woman do choose to go to the devil when I thought she was going to heaven: is that any reason why I should quit my dear Faith and go after her?”

“You will think better of this by and by,” said his acquaintance, composedly. “Sit here and rest yourself a while; and when you feel like moving again, there is my staff to help you along.”

Without more words, he threw his companion the maple stick, and was as speedily out of sight as if he had vanished into the deepening gloom. The young man sat a few moments by the roadside, applauding himself greatly, and thinking with how clear a conscience he should meet the minister in his morning walk, nor shrink from the eye of good old Deacon Gookin. And what calm sleep would be his that very night, which was to have been spent so wickedly, but so purely and sweetly now, in the arms of Faith! Amidst these pleasant and praiseworthy meditations, Goodman Brown heard the tramp of horses along the road, and deemed it advisable to conceal himself within the verge of the forest, conscious of the guilty purpose that had brought him thither, though now so happily turned from it.

On came the hoof tramps and the voices of the riders, two grave old


voices, conversing soberly as they drew near. These mingled sounds appeared to pass along the road, within a few yards of the young man’s hiding-place; but, owing doubtless to the depth of the gloom at that particular spot, neither the travellers nor their steeds were visible. Though their figures brushed the small boughs by the wayside, it could not be seen that they intercepted, even for a moment, the faint gleam from the strip of bright sky athwart which they must have passed. Goodman Brown alternately crouched and stood on tiptoe, pulling aside the branches and thrusting forth his head as far as he durst without discerning so much as a shadow. It vexed him the more, because he could have sworn, were such a thing possible, that he recognized the voices of the minister and Deacon Gookin, jogging along quietly, as they were wont to do, when bound to some ordination or ecclesiastical council. While yet within hearing, one of the riders stopped to pluck a switch.

“Of the two, reverend sir,” said the voice like the deacon’s, “I had rather miss an ordination dinner than to-night’s meeting. They tell me that some of our community are to be here from Falmouth and beyond, and others from Connecticut and Rhode Island, besides several of the Indian powwows, who, after their fashion, know almost as much deviltry as the best of us. Moreover, there is a goodly young woman to be taken into communion.”

“Mighty well, Deacon Gookin!” replied the solemn old tones of the minister. “Spur up, or we shall be late. Nothing can be done, you know, until I get on the ground.”

The hoofs clattered again; and the voices, talking so strangely in the empty air, passed on through the forest, where no church had ever been gathered or solitary Christian prayed. Whither, then, could these holy men be journeying so deep into the heathen wilderness? Young Goodman Brown caught hold of a tree for support, being ready to sink down on the ground, faint and overburdened with the heavy sickness of his heart. He looked up to the sky, doubting whether there really was a heaven above him. Yet there was the blue arch, and the stars brightening in it.

“With heaven above and Faith below, I will yet stand firm against the devil!” cried Goodman Brown.

While he still gazed upward into the deep arch of the firmament and had lifted his hands to pray, a cloud, though no wind was stirring, hurried across the zenith and hid the brightening stars. The blue sky was still visible, except directly overhead, where this black mass of cloud was sweeping swiftly northward. Aloft in the air, as if from the depths of the cloud, came a confused and doubtful sound of voices. Once the listener fancied that he could distinguish the accents of towns-people of his own,


men and women, both pious and ungodly, many of whom he had met at the communion table, and had seen others rioting at the tavern. The next moment, so indistinct were the sounds, he doubted whether he had heard aught but the murmur of the old forest, whispering without a wind. Then came a stronger swell of those familiar tones, heard daily in the sunshine at Salem village, but never until now from a cloud of night. There was one voice, of a young woman, uttering lamentations, yet with an uncertain sorrow, and entreating for some favor, which, perhaps, it would grieve her to obtain; and all the unseen multitude, both saints and sinners, seemed to encourage her onward.

“Faith!” shouted Goodman Brown, in a voice of agony and desperation; and the echoes of the forest mocked him, crying, “Faith! Faith!” as if bewildered wretches were seeking her all through the wilderness.

The cry of grief, rage, and terror was yet piercing the night, when the unhappy husband held his breath for a response. There was a scream, drowned immediately in a louder murmur of voices, fading into far-off laughter, as the dark cloud swept away, leaving the clear and silent sky above Goodman Brown. But something fluttered lightly down through the air and caught on the branch of a tree. The young man seized it, and beheld a pink ribbon.

“My Faith is gone!” cried he after one stupefied moment. “There is no good on earth; and sin is but a name. Come, devil; for to thee is this world given.”

And, maddened with despair, so that he laughed loud and long, did Goodman Brown grasp his staff and set forth again, at such a rate that he seemed to fly along the forest path rather than to walk or run. The road grew wilder and drearier and more faintly traced, and vanished at length, leaving him in the heart of the dark wilderness, still rushing onward with the instinct that guides mortal man to evil. The whole forest was peopled with frightful sounds—the creaking of the trees, the howling of wild beasts, and the yell of Indians; while sometimes the wind tolled like a distant church bell, and sometimes gave a broad roar around the traveller, as if all Nature were laughing him to scorn. But he was himself the chief horror of the scene, and shrank not from its other horrors.

“Ha! ha! ha!” roared Goodman Brown when the wind laughed at him. “Let us hear which will laugh loudest. Think not to frighten me with your deviltry. Come witch, come wizard, come Indian powwow, come devil himself, and here comes Goodman Brown. You may as well fear him as he fear you.”

In truth, all through the haunted forest there could be nothing more frightful than the figure of Goodman Brown. On he flew among the black


pines, brandishing his staff with frenzied gestures, now giving vent to an inspiration of horrid blasphemy, and now shouting forth such laughter as set all the echoes of the forest laughing like demons around him. The fiend in his own shape is less hideous than when he rages in the breast of man. Thus sped the demoniac on his course, until, quivering among the trees, he saw a red light before him, as when the felled trunks and branches of a clearing have been set on fire, and throw up their lurid blaze against the sky, at the hour of midnight. He paused, in a lull of the tempest that had driven him onward, and heard the swell of what seemed a hymn, rolling solemnly from a distance with the weight of many voices. He knew the tune; it was a familiar one in the choir of the village meeting-house. The verse died heavily away, and was lengthened by a chorus, not of human voices, but of all the sounds of the benighted wilderness pealing in awful harmony together. Goodman Brown cried out, and his cry was lost to his own ear by its unison with the cry of the desert.

In the interval of silence he stole forward until the light glared full upon his eyes. At one extremity of an open space, hemmed in by the dark wall of the forest, arose a rock, bearing some rude, natural resemblance either to an altar or a pulpit, and surrounded by four blazing pines, their tops aflame, their stems untouched, like candles at an evening meeting. The mass of foliage that had overgrown the summit of the rock was all on fire, blazing high into the night and fitfully illuminating the whole field. Each pendent twig and leafy festoon was in a blaze. As the red light arose and fell, a numerous congregation alternately shone forth, then disappeared in shadow, and again grew, as it were, out of the darkness, peopling the heart of the solitary woods at once.

“A grave and dark-clad company,” quoth Goodman Brown. In truth they were such. Among them, quivering to and fro between

gloom and splendor, appeared faces that would be seen next day at the council board of the province, and others which, Sabbath after Sabbath, looked devoutly heavenward, and benignantly over the crowded pews, from the holiest pulpits in the land. Some affirm that the lady of the governor was there. At least there were high dames well known to her, and wives of honored husbands, and widows, a great multitude, and ancient maidens, all of excellent repute, and fair young girls, who trembled lest their mothers should espy them. Either the sudden gleams of light flashing over the obscure field bedazzled Goodman Brown, or he recognized a score of the church members of Salem village famous for their especial sanctity. Good old Deacon Gookin had arrived, and waited at the skirts of that venerable saint, his revered pastor. But, irreverently consorting with these grave, reputable, and pious people, these elders of the church, these


chaste dames and dewy virgins, there were men of dissolute lives and women of spotted fame, wretches given over to all mean and filthy vice, and suspected even of horrid crimes. It was strange to see that the good shrank not from the wicked, nor were the sinners abashed by the saints. Scattered also among their pale-faced enemies were the Indian priests, or powwows, who had often scared their native forest with more hideous incantations than any known to English witchcraft.

“But where is Faith?” thought Goodman Brown; and, as hope came into his heart, he trembled.

Another verse of the hymn arose, a slow and mournful strain, such as the pious love, but joined to words which expressed all that our nature can conceive of sin, and darkly hinted at far more. Unfathomable to mere mortals is the lore of fiends. Verse after verse was sung; and still the chorus of the desert swelled between like the deepest tone of a mighty organ; and with the final peal of that dreadful anthem there came a sound, as if the roaring wind, the rushing streams, the howling beasts, and every other voice of the unconcerted wilderness were mingling and according with the voice of guilty man in homage to the prince of all. The four blazing pines threw up a loftier flame, and obscurely discovered shapes and visages of horror on the smoke wreaths above the impious assembly. At the same moment the fire on the rock shot redly forth and formed a flowing arch above its base, where now appeared a figure. With reverence be it spoken, the figure bore no slight similitude, both in garb and manner, to some grave divine of the New England churches.

“Bring forth the converts!” cried a voice that echoed through the field and rolled into the forest.

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. He could have well-nigh sworn that the shape of his own dead father beckoned him to advance, looking downward from a smoke wreath, while a woman, with dim features of despair, threw out her hand to warn him back. Was it his mother? But he had no power to retreat one step, nor to resist, even in thought, when the minister and good old Deacon Gookin seized his arms and led him to the blazing rock. Thither came also the slender form of a veiled female, led between Goody Cloyse, that pious teacher of the catechism, and Martha Carrier, who had received the devil’s promise to be queen of hell. A rampant hag was she. And there stood the proselytes beneath the canopy of fire.

“Welcome, my children,” said the dark figure, “to the communion of your race. Ye have found thus young your nature and your destiny. My


children, look behind you!” They turned; and flashing forth, as it were, in a sheet of flame, the fiend

worshippers were seen; the smile of welcome gleamed darkly on every visage.

“There,” resumed the sable form, “are all whom ye have reverenced from youth. Ye deemed them holier than yourselves and shrank from your own sin, contrasting it with their lives of righteousness and prayerful aspirations heavenward. Yet here are they all in my worshipping assembly. This night it shall be granted you to know their secret deeds: how hoary- bearded elders of the church have whispered wanton words to the young maids of their households; how many a woman, eager for widows’ weeds, has given her husband a drink at bedtime and let him sleep his last sleep in her bosom; how beardless youths have made haste to inherit their fathers’ wealth; and how fair damsels—blush not, sweet ones—have dug little graves in the garden, and bidden me, the sole guest, to an infant’s funeral. By the sympathy of your human hearts for sin ye shall scent out all the places—whether in church, bedchamber, street, field, or forest—where crime has been committed, and shall exult to behold the whole earth one stain of guilt, one mighty blood spot. Far more than this. It shall be yours to penetrate, in every bosom, the deep mystery of sin, the fountain of all wicked arts, and which inexhaustibly supplies more evil impulses than human power—than my power at its utmost—can make manifest in deeds. And now, my children, look upon each other.”

They did so; and, by the blaze of the hell-kindled torches, the wretched man beheld his Faith, and the wife her husband, trembling before that unhallowed altar.

“Lo, there ye stand, my children,” said the figure, in a deep and solemn tone, almost sad with its despairing awfulness, as if his once angelic nature could yet mourn for our miserable race. “Depending upon one another’s hearts, ye had still hoped that virtue were not all a dream. Now are ye undeceived. Evil is the nature of mankind. Evil must be your only happiness. Welcome again, my children, to the communion of your race.”

“Welcome,” repeated the fiend worshippers, in one cry of despair and triumph.

And there they stood, the only pair, as it seemed, who were yet hesitating on the verge of wickedness in this dark world. A basin was hallowed, naturally, in the rock. Did it contain water, reddened by the lurid light? or was it blood? or, perchance, a liquid flame? Herein did the shape of evil dip his hand and prepare to lay the mark of baptism upon their foreheads, that they might be partakers of the mystery of sin, more conscious of the secret guilt of others, both in deed and thought, than they


could now be of their own. The husband cast one look at his pale wife, and Faith at him. What polluted wretches would the next glance show them to each other, shuddering alike at what they disclosed and what they saw!

“Faith! Faith!” cried the husband, “look up to heaven, and resist the wicked one.”

Whether Faith obeyed he knew not. Hardly had he spoken when he found himself amid calm night and solitude, listening to a roar of the wind which died heavily away through the forest. He staggered against the rock, and felt it chill and damp; while a hanging twig, that had been all on fire, besprinkled his cheek with the coldest dew.

The next morning young Goodman Brown came slowly into the street of Salem village, staring around him like a bewildered man. The good old minister was taking a walk along the graveyard to get an appetite for breakfast and meditate his sermon, and bestowed a blessing, as he passed, on Goodman Brown. He shrank from the venerable saint as if to avoid an anathema. Old Deacon Gookin was at domestic worship, and the holy words of his prayer were heard through the open window. “What God doth the wizard pray to?” quoth Goodman Brown. Goody Cloyse, that excellent old Christian, stood in the early sunshine at her own lattice, catechizing a little girl who had brought her a pint of morning’s milk. Goodman Brown snatched away the child as from the grasp of the fiend himself. Turning the corner by the meeting-house, he spied the head of Faith, with the pink ribbons, gazing anxiously forth, and bursting into such joy at sight of him that she skipped along the street and almost kissed her husband before the whole village. But Goodman Brown looked sternly and sadly into her face, and passed on without a greeting.

Had Goodman Brown fallen asleep in the forest and only dreamed a wild dream of a witch-meeting?

Be it so if you will; but, alas! it was a dream of evil omen for young Goodman Brown. A stern, a sad, a darkly meditative, a distrustful, if not a desperate man did he become from the night of that fearful dream. On the Sabbath day, when the congregation were singing a holy psalm, he could not listen because an anthem of sin rushed loudly upon his ear and drowned all the blessed strain. When the minister spoke from the pulpit with power and fervid eloquence, and, with his hand on the open Bible, of the sacred truths of our religion, and of saint-like lives and triumphant deaths, and of future bliss or misery unutterable, then did Goodman Brown turn pale, dreading lest the roof should thunder down upon the gray blasphemer and his hearers. Often, awaking suddenly at midnight, he shrank from the bosom of Faith; and at morning or eventide, when the family knelt down at prayer, he scowled and muttered to himself, and


gazed sternly at his wife, and turned away. And when he had lived long, and was borne to his grave a hoary corpse, followed by Faith, an aged woman, and children and grandchildren, a goodly procession, besides neighbors not a few, they carved no hopeful verse upon his tombstone, for his dying hour was gloom.



1King Philip, a Wampanoag chief, waged war against the New England colonists (1675–76). 2Three plants sometimes associated with witchcraft. Smallage refers to varieties of parsley and celery; cinquefoil to plants with compound leaves, each having five leaflets; wolf’s bane to plants with dull green leaves and yellow foliage, sometimes called winter wheat or aconite.


The Cask of Amontillado EDGAR ALLAN POE


The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could; but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. You, who so well know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a point definitely settled—but the very definitiveness with which it was resolved precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish, but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.

It must be understood, that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good-will. I continued, as was my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile now was at the thought of his immolation.

He had a weak point—this Fortunato—although in other regards he was a man to be respected and even feared. He prided himself on his connoisseurship in wine. Few Italians have the true virtuoso spirit. For the most part their enthusiasm is adopted to suit the time and opportunity—to practise imposture upon the British and Austrian millionnaires. In painting and gemmary Fortunato, like his countrymen, was a quack—but in the matter of old wines he was sincere. In this respect I did not differ from him materially: I was skilful in the Italian vintages myself, and bought largely whenever I could.

It was about dusk, one evening during the supreme madness of the carnival season, that I encountered my friend. He accosted me with excessive warmth, for he had been drinking much. The man wore motley. He had on a tight-fitting parti-striped dress, and his head was surmounted by the conical cap and bells. I was so pleased to see him, that I thought I


should never have done wringing his hand. I said to him: “My dear Fortunato, you are luckily met. How

remarkably well you are looking to-day! But I have received a pipe1 of what passes for Amontillado, and I have my doubts.”

“How?” said he. “Amontillado? A pipe? Impossible! And in the middle of the carnival!”

“I have my doubts,” I replied; “and I was silly enough to pay the full Amontillado price without consulting you in the matter. You were not to be found, and I was fearful of losing a bargain.”

“Amontillado!” “I have my doubts.” “Amontillado!” “And I must satisfy them.” “Amontillado!” “As you are engaged, I am on my way to Luchesi. If any one has a

critical turn, it is he. He will tell me——” “Luchesi cannot tell Amontillado from Sherry.” “And yet some fools will have it that his taste is a match for your own.” “Come, let us go.” “Whither?” “To your vaults.” “My friend, no; I will not impose upon your good nature. I perceive you

have an engagement. Luchesi——” “I have no engagement;—come.” “My friend, no. It is not the engagement, but the severe cold with which

I perceive you are afflicted. The vaults are insufferably damp. They are encrusted with nitre.”2

“Let us go, nevertheless. The cold is merely nothing. Amontillado! You have been imposed upon. And as for Luchesi, he cannot distinguish Sherry from Amontillado.”

Thus speaking, Fortunato possessed himself of my arm. Putting on a mask of black silk, and drawing a roquelaire3 closely about my person, I suffered him to hurry me to my palazzo.

There were no attendants at home; they had absconded to make merry in honor of the time. I had told them that I should not return until the morning, and had given them explicit orders not to stir from the house. These orders were sufficient, I well knew, to insure their immediate disappearance, one and all, as soon as my back was turned.

I took from their sconces two flambeaux, and giving one to Fortunato, bowed him through several suites of rooms to the archway that led into the


vaults. I passed down a long and winding staircase, requesting him to be cautious as he followed. We came at length to the foot of the descent, and stood together on the damp ground of the catacombs of the Montresors.

The gait of my friend was unsteady, and the bells upon his cap jingled as he strode.

“The pipe?” said he. “It is farther on,” said I; “but observe the white web-work which gleams

from these cavern walls.” He turned toward me, and looked into my eyes with two filmy orbs that

distilled the rheum of intoxication. “Nitre?” he asked, at length. “Nitre,” I replied. “How long have you had that cough?” “Ugh! ugh! ugh!—ugh! ugh! ugh!—ugh! ugh! ugh!—ugh! ugh! ugh!—

ugh! ugh! ugh!” My poor friend found it impossible to reply for many minutes. “It is nothing,” he said, at last. “Come,” I said, with decision, “we will go back; your health is

precious. You are rich, respected, admired, beloved; you are happy, as once I was. You are a man to be missed. For me it is no matter. We will go back; you will be ill, and I cannot be responsible. Besides, there is Luchesi —”

“Enough,” he said; “the cough is a mere nothing; it will not kill me. I shall not die of a cough.”

“True—true,” I replied; “and, indeed, I had no intention of alarming you unnecessarily; but you should use all proper caution. A draught of this Medoc will defend us from the damps.”

Here I knocked off the neck of a bottle which I drew from a long row of its fellows that lay upon the mould.

“Drink,” I said, presenting him the wine. He raised it to his lips with a leer. He paused and nodded to me

familiarly, while his bells jingled. “I drink,” he said, “to the buried that repose around us.” “And I to your long life.” He again took my arm, and we proceeded. “These vaults,” he said, “are extensive.” “The Montresors,” I replied, “were a great and numerous family.” “I forget your arms.” “A huge human foot d’or,4 in a field azure; the foot crushes a serpent

rampant whose fangs are imbedded in the heel.” “And the motto?” “Nemo me impune lacessit.”5


“Good!” he said. The wine sparkled in his eyes and the bells jingled. My own fancy grew

warm with the Medoc. We had passed through walls of piled bones, with casks and puncheons intermingling into the inmost recesses of the catacombs. I paused again, and this time I made bold to seize Fortunato by an arm above the elbow.

“The nitre!” I said; “see, it increases. It hangs like moss upon the vaults. We are below the river’s bed. The drops of moisture trickle among the bones. Come, we will go back ere it is too late. Your cough——”

“It is nothing,” he said; “let us go on. But first, another draught of the Medoc.”

I broke and reached him a flagon of De Grâve. He emptied it at a breath. His eyes flashed with a fierce light. He laughed and threw the bottle upward with a gesticulation I did not understand.

I looked at him in surprise. He repeated the movement—a grotesque one.

“You do not comprehend?” he said. “Not I,” I replied. “Then you are not of the brotherhood.” “How?” “You are not of the masons.” “Yes, yes,” I said; “yes, yes.” “You? Impossible! A mason?” “A mason,” I replied. “A sign,” he said. “It is this,” I answered, producing a trowel from beneath the folds of my

roquelaire. “You jest,” he exclaimed, recoiling a few paces. “But let us proceed to

the Amontillado.” “Be it so,” I said, replacing the tool beneath the cloak, and again

offering him my arm. He leaned upon it heavily. We continued our route in search of the Amontillado. We passed through a range of low arches, descended, passed on, and descending again, arrived at a deep crypt, in which the foulness of the air caused our flambeaux rather to glow than flame.

At the most remote end of the crypt there appeared another less spacious. Its walls had been lined with human remains, piled to the vault overhead, in the fashion of the great catacombs of Paris. Three sides of this interior crypt were still ornamented in this manner. From the fourth the bones had been thrown down, and lay promiscuously upon the earth, forming at one point a mound of some size. Within the wall thus exposed


by the displacing of the bones, we perceived a still interior recess, in depth about four feet, in width three, in height six or seven. It seemed to have been constructed for no especial use within itself, but formed merely the interval between two of the colossal supports of the roof of the catacombs, and was backed by one of their circumscribing walls of solid granite.

It was in vain that Fortunato, uplifting his dull torch, endeavored to pry into the depth of the recess. Its termination the feeble light did not enable us to see.

“Proceed,” I said; “herein is the Amontillado. As for Luchesi——” “He is an ignoramus,” interrupted my friend, as he stepped unsteadily

forward, while I followed immediately at his heels. In an instant he had reached the extremity of the niche, and finding his progress arrested by the rock, stood stupidly bewildered. A moment more and I had fettered him to the granite. In its surface were two iron staples, distant from each other about two feet, horizontally. From one of these depended a short chain, from the other a padlock. Throwing the links about his waist, it was but the work of a few seconds to secure it. He was too much astounded to resist. Withdrawing the key I stepped back from the recess.

“Pass your hand,” I said, “over the wall; you cannot help feeling the nitre. Indeed it is very damp. Once more let me implore you to return. No? Then I must positively leave you. But I must first render you all the little attentions in my power.”

“The Amontillado!” ejaculated my friend, not yet recovered from his astonishment.

“True,” I replied; “the Amontillado.” As I said these words I busied myself among the pile of bones of which

I have before spoken. Throwing them aside, I soon uncovered a quantity of building stone and mortar. With these materials and with the aid of my trowel, I began vigorously to wall up the entrance of the niche.

I had scarcely laid the first tier of the masonry when I discovered that the intoxication of Fortunato had in a great measure worn off. The earliest indication I had of this was a low moaning cry from the depth of the recess. It was not the cry of a drunken man. There was then a long and obstinate silence. I laid the second tier, and the third, and the fourth; and then I heard the furious vibrations of the chain. The noise lasted for several minutes, during which, that I might hearken to it with the more satisfaction, I ceased my labors and sat down upon the bones. When at last the clanking subsided, I resumed the trowel, and finished without interruption the fifth, the sixth, and the seventh tier. The wall was now nearly upon a level with my breast. I again paused, and holding the flambeaux over the masonwork, threw a few feeble rays upon the figure


within. A succession of loud and shrill screams, bursting suddenly from the

throat of the chained form, seemed to thrust me violently back. For a brief moment I hesitated—I trembled. Unsheathing my rapier, I began to grope with it about the recess; but the thought of an instant reassured me. I placed my hand upon the solid fabric of the catacombs, and felt satisfied. I reapproached the wall. I replied to the yells of him who clamored. I reechoed—I aided—I surpassed them in volume and in strength. I did this, and the clamorer grew still.

It was now midnight, and my task was drawing to a close. I had completed the eighth, the ninth, and the tenth tier. I had finished a portion of the last and the eleventh; there remained but a single stone to be fitted and plastered in. I struggled with its weight; I placed it partially in its destined position. But now there came from out the niche a low laugh that erected the hairs upon my head. It was succeeded by a sad voice, which I had difficulty in recognizing as that of the noble Fortunato. The voice said —

“Ha! ha! ha!—he! he!—a very good joke indeed—an excellent jest. We will have many a rich laugh about it at the palazzo—he! he! he!—over our wine—he! he! he!”

“The Amontillado!” I said. “He! he! he!—he! he! he!—yes, the Amontillado. But is it not getting

late? Will not they be awaiting us at the palazzo, the Lady Fortunato and the rest? Let us be gone.”

“Yes,” I said, “let us be gone.” “For the love of God, Montresor!” “Yes,” I said, “for the love of God!” But to these words I hearkened in vain for a reply. I grew impatient. I

called aloud: “Fortunato!” No answer. I called again: “Fortunato!” No answer still, I thrust a torch through the remaining aperture and let it

fall within. There came forth in return only a jingling of the bells. My heart grew sick—on account of the dampness of the catacombs. I hastened to make an end of my labor. I forced the last stone into its position; I plastered it up. Against the new masonry I reerected the old rampart of bones. For the half of a century no mortal has disturbed them. In pace requiescat!6



1A large cask. 2Potassium nitrate, or saltpeter; believed at the end of the eighteenth century to be an element in air and plants. 3A cloak. 4Of gold. 5“No one wounds me with impunity”; the motto of the Scottish royal arms. 6May he rest in peace (Latin).


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