Literary Analysis Of Nathaniel Hawthorne And Edgar Allan Poe

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Some of the very first impactful, original, and insightful writers of our nation were in the literature era of American Romanticism. Authors began to flourish in new ideas to help build what is known today as the American identity. These authors who helped established this were Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe. “Young Goodman Brown” and “The Cask of Amontillado,” short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe, respectively, illustrate protagonists on journeys to fulfill their own desires. Utilizing the literary devices setting and guilt, Hawthorne and Poe create stories where a protagonist completes a journey that eventually leads to the realization of humanity within oneself is crucial to one 's life. The mood and tone throughout …show more content…
These decisions alter the protagonist lives permanently changing their views on humanity. The guide leading Brown on his journey takes him deeper into the heart of the forest, so that he may discover what the world truly is. Toward the end of Brown’s journey he realizes,“The road [was growing] wilder and drearier and more faintly traced, and [vanishing] at length, leaving him in the heart of the dark wilderness… ” (Hawthorne 8). At the start of the story, the path was straight and narrow, a representation of the Puritan journey of life. Now, as Brown realizes the cruel truth about humanity which is full of sin and flaws. The path then suddenly alters to a ‘wilder and drearier’ one. Going further into the ‘heart of the dark wilderness’, Brown’s path has ‘vanished’ symbolizing Brown leaving humanity behind and becoming engulfed in the evil of his distorted reality. The setting impacts the story significantly because the forest represents the maze of the human thoughts and Brown found the truth about humanity which led to his hysterical actions towards not only his wife, but the townspeople. Likewise, Montresor’s journey begins in the catacombs of Italy. He guides Fortunato, a drunk man, into Montresor’s planned location for Fortunato’s live burial. Beginning their journey into the catacombs …show more content…
Throughout Brown’s journey, he struggles with the fact his townspeople have flaws and sins. In the end when he returns to reality, he has to cope with the fact that he, himself, is also filled with flaws and sin. Hawthorne expresses as Brown’s dilemma, “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” (Hawthorne 12). After returning to reality, Brown feels guilty about his hypocrisy towards the townspeople and by listening to the ‘holy psalm’ he can not stand to listen to it after uncovering the truth within himself. He also feels guilty for trusting that the townspeople only have good within themselves when he uncovered . Not only could he not listen to the psalm, but the psalm was replaced with ‘an anthem of sin’ because he feels guilty for losing his sense of humanity by being a hypocrite toward the townspeople. He has come to the epiphany that he has also sinned like the townspeople, by traveling within the forest to discover evil. Correspondingly, by burying Montresor, there were 11 tiers of niche used for the burial. Throughout the process, Montresor did not hesitate to build the tiers. At the last tier of the live burial,, he begins to have doubt in his mind about whether is was the best form of revenge. “ ...there

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