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Literature & Literary Analysis on "The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg": Barclay Goodson
Transcript of Literature & Literary Analysis on "The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg": Barclay Goodson
Roles & Contributions to the Theme
Everyone consider Goodson to be a truthful and generous person, but he was disliked for is blunt honesty. At top of page 16, the Richards are discussing who could have given the stranger money agreeing together it was Goodson “He could have done it, and it would have been like him, but there's not another in the town.” ” Everyone will grant that, Edward –grant it privately, anyway. For six months, now the village has been its own proper self once more- honest, narrow, self-righteous and stingy. ” “It is what he always called it, to the day of his death-said it right publicly, too.” “Yes, and he was hated for it. (Zhao 16)” When Burgress was accused of his crime and fled town, although Edwards Richards was the who helped his the town accused Goodson, because they figured that he was the only person who would do something like that.
The stranger knew Goodson wasn’t born or raised in Hadleyburg, so he wasn’t taught that artificial honesty. Which is the reason he watch until Goodson’s death to begin his plan, “I was afraid of Goodson. He was neither born nor reared in Hadleyburg .I was afraid that if I started to operate my scheme by getting my letter laid before you, you would say to yourselves ,‘Goodson is the only man among us who would give away twenty dollars ’-and then you might not bite my bait. But Heaven took Goodson; then I knew I was safe, and I could set my trap and bait it. (Zhao 37)”
Goodson despised the town for its fake honesty, straight-forwardly saying so. It is possible to believe that Holliday was the only one in town that Goodson didn’t despise, because of Halliday’s Straight-forward personality, and enjoyment of publicly displaying his thoughts about people, and any changes he noticed.
In the story, “The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg “, Barclay Goodson plays a big part of the theme of Mark Twain story. Barclay Goodson, was a good and virtuous person in the town. Though he was a good person, the town of Hadleyburg despised him for his straight-forward and unpleasant remarks of the stingy town. By analyzing the story, we can detect that the name “Goodson” was given to this character, because he was the only really good person in Hadleyburg. As one of the main characters, Goodson is introduced being despised by town for his honesty and straight-forward remarks of the town. Since Barclay Goodson is deceased in the beginning of story, there is no real photo image of Goodson. Characters named Edward and Mary Richards, quoted what Goodson said about the town before he died. “For six months, now the village has been its own proper self once more- honest, narrow, self-righteous and stingy. It is what he always called it, to the day of his death-said it right publicly, too.” (Mark Twain, 16) Even though there is no photo image of Goodson, we can clearly see the type of person he was and his personality. Not giving Barclay Goodson a photo image was a detail Mark Twain believed made the story, perhaps, more interesting. Words such as, honest, straight-forward, generous, and virtuous; can clearly capture Goodson’s image. A quote on the top of page 16, explains why Goodson is a generous person. “Who could the citizen have been who gave the stranger the twenty dollars? It seemed a simple one; both answered it in the same breath – ‘Barclay Goodson.’” This shows that Goodson was the only person in town who would have given money away to a stranger. Goodson was the only really good and virtuous person in the town, and everyone knew he was different from the rest of the town. They all knew right away that he must have been the one to give the money away. Barclay Goodson was seen as the one person that was seen a good person in an all stingy town, which serves to a good function to the story.
The dominant theme of the story is the "Importance and Power of a Guilty Conscience. While Goodsoon arguably doesn't have a guilty conscience he carries the traits of many other sub-themes. The first sub-theme that Goodson can be related to is honesty. Unlike many other members of Hadleyburg, Goodson was actually an honest person. He didn't tell lies, and he was honest about his disgust of Hadleyburg. The second sub-theme Goodson can relate to is truth. Not only, did Goodson always tell the truth, Goodson also saw the "truth" behind the residents of Hadleyburg which caused him to despise the town. Goodson did not like the self-righteous act displayed by many residents of Hadleyburg. The last sub-theme that Goodson related to is human relationships. Goodson didn't have many "good" relationships with the other townsmen because they disliked him for his straightforwardness and honesty. Goodsoon had a lover in the past but he was "saved" by the town after they killed her off due to her having Negro blood running through her veins. This incident caused Goodson to hate other humans and hate relationships with other humans. Overall, Goodson is a very important character in the story, as he was before the time of his death one of the very few honest individuals left in the story. In fact Goodson was so honest, the stranger couldn't advance his plans until after Goodson's death because everybody in the town would have believed that it was Goodson who gave the stranger the $20.