Analysis Of Nathaniel Hawthorne 's `` Young Goodman Brown `` And `` Masque Of The Red Death ``

Analysis Of Nathaniel Hawthorne 's `` Young Goodman Brown `` And `` Masque Of The Red Death ``

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Accepting Sin
The popularity of modern dystopian stories is rooted in its dark themes and settings, but this interest goes back to the early stages of American Literature. Two of the most well-known American authors, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe, delved into the sinfulness of human nature and presence of evil in mortal lives through symbolic journeys of their characters. In the short story “Young Goodman Brown”, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s main protagonist, Goodman Brown, takes a journey through a forest with a mysterious man, who shows him the sinful nature of his townspeople. Hawthorne uses elements of American Romanticism to show how the refusal to accept that evil and goodness coexist in humans will lead to a bitter life of isolation. Poe uses similar elements in his story, “Masque of the Red Death”. Prince Prospero, the protagonist, throws a party and with his guests, follows a path of rooms; unbeknownst to the party, a mysterious figure accompanies the crowd. Just like Hawthorne’s protagonist, Poe’s character refuses to accept that there is no escape from evil, and attempting to do so will lead to death and suffering. Both authors utilise symbolism, pride, isolation, and violence to show the importance of accepting human flaws. The refusal to accept that evil is inevitable and that it is inescapable in human lives leads to pride and isolation, resulting in severe consequences of psychological or physical violence.

Nathaniel Hawthorne creates a character whose pride and refusal to accept that his Puritan neighbours can harbor internal sin but still be morally good leads to his alienation and psychological downfall. Young Goodman Brown travels through a forest to an unknown destination. Puritan societies believed that th...


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...ut a knife and try to scare away the figure. Rather than accepting the fact that the figure, representing the Red Death, has joined the party, Prospero attempts to fight it, and the evil responds by attacking the entire household in a blanket of the Red Death.
Without accepting the fact that evil is inevitable even after being proved so, a person can become prideful, resulting in isolation and eventual downfall. Both Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe send their protagonists on a journey that warns them of the evil around and in them. However, these characters believe they are better people or can overcome sin. In “Young Goodman Brown,” Hawthorne’s character refuses to accept that people can be both morally good and harbor sin, so he separates himself and leads the rest of his life in bitterness and loneliness. In contrast, Poe’s character in “Masque of the Red

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