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Good and Evil in Something Wicked This Way Comes

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One week before Halloween, Will Halloway and Jim Nightshade watch the carnival train clamor into town at 3:00 am. When they see the train pulling a singing calliope with no one at the keyboard, they realize it’s not a normal carnival (49). While the boys are watching the carnival set up they see things that make them want to know more. The mirror maze is the one attraction that caught their attention because of how dark it seemed (55). Through a readers approach, one can see how “Something Wicked This Way Comes develops the theme of good and evil through the ideas of time, temptation, acceptance and age.

First of all, time develops the good and the evil of the story by adding mystery. The boys first realize that there something about the carnival that isn’t normal because the calliope was singing with no one at the keyboard and it arrives at 3:00am (45). In some places it’s believed that the bad spirits come out at 3:00am. One can prove that time develops the good and bad because on page 192, Will and Charles Halloway discovers that Mr. Dark and Mr. Cooger have been part of the carnival for many years. After they look at the years it has been there they realize that the carnival only comes once every twenty, thirty, forty years, so people forget (192). They start to assume that all the “freaks” working for the carnival are people who have been trapped. It took a couple of minutes before Charles and Will realized what they had to do in order to bring Jim back to live. They had to dance, sing, and show happiness to revive Jim but he didn’t revive fast, it took lots of effort of Charles and Will (285).

Secondly, temptation is a big factor of the theme of good and evil because it shows how evil is developed through the story. On page 21, we can see how the smell of the carnival makes Mr. Crosetti nostalgic when he realizes he misses his childhood, which made him cry. The smell of cotton candy is tempting Mr. Crosetti to wish he was younger. This is the evil of the carnival tempting people with things they don’t remember from their childhood. We can see evil tempt Miss Foley on page 65, when she enters the mirror maze and sees a younger version of herself. At first she doesn’t realize its her and ends up getting very confused because the little girl she saw reminded her of herself. This makes her wish she was younger. Tom Fury, the salesman, also falls into temptation when he wants to see the world’s most beautiful women and ends up falling into the trap. He then becomes a dwarf in Mr. Dark’s show. So far we can see that everyone who has gotten tempted ended up working for Mr. Dark. Once they ride the carousel or get trapped with the magic they become Mr. Darks “freaks.”

Next, Good is shown through acceptance because once people start accepting themselves they are free from the evil. Three of the characters that really struggled with accepting the fact that age is something that can’t be changed were Charles, Jim, and Miss Foley. Charles wishes he was younger to be able to play catch with his son Will (37). Miss Foley also feels old and wants to be younger after she remembers her childhood (65). Jim just wants to be older because he is annoyed with the limitations of being a child. He wants to be taken into consideration by the adults. Once Miss Foley and Jim realize that they can’t change their age it’s a little too late. When miss Foley realized she had already changed into a little girl and Jim almost died because of this wish. Jim did not understand that physical age doesn’t matter, that all that matters is the mind. When Charles was trapped Will helped him realize that age didn’t matter. After Charles accepted his age he was able to save himself, destroy Mr. Dark, and save all the other freaks. Will was able to identify who the freaks were because he realized that even though they changed their appearance, their eyes stay the same.

Lastly, age was an important topic in the theme of good and evil, because most of the people didn’t like there age.

All in all, one can see how the theme of good and evil is shown through the story. It’s shown time after time through the characters temptation and acceptance. Mr. Cooger and the carousel shows us that physical age is not important and it’s all mental. Even when the people would fall into the trap there features would change expect there eyes. By looking at their eyes one could tell who it was. 

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Good And Evil In Something Wicked This Way Comes. (2022, May 24). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 9, 2023, from
“Good And Evil In Something Wicked This Way Comes.” GradesFixer, 24 May 2022,
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