Compare And Contrast Young Goodman Brown And The Cask Of Amontillado

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Into Darkness: A Compare & Contrast Essay Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown,” and Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” utilize character responsibilities to create a sinister plot. For Hawthorne, protagonist Young Goodman Brown must leave his wife at home while he partakes in a night journey. For Poe, ancillary Fortunato covets a pretentious manner towards his wine tasting skills, and after being ‘challenged’ decides to prove his expertise by sampling Amontillado. Hawthorne and Poe showcase a theme of darkness but differ in their approach to the setting, characters, and fate of entrapment. Hawthorne and Poe showcase a theme of darkness but differ in their approach to the setting. In Young Goodman Brown, the story primarily …show more content…

Both stories feature building action that allows the theme of darkness to mount until the climax, the fate of entrapment. For Hawthorne, the staff-wielding Goodman Brown induced a maniacal laugh, “the road grew wilder and drearier and more faintly traced, and vanished at length, leaving him in the heart of the dark wilderness,” (Hawthorne 175). The action leads to the midnight meeting which transforms Goodman Brown’s life forever. Hawthorne denotes the possibility that the event was just a dream, but one that caused irreversible trauma leading Goodman Brown to live a gloomy life wherein his faith could only then be to himself. Goodman Brown endures a lifetime of internal entrapment; he no longer trusts the people of his community, the word of his religion, or the comfort of his wife. Similarly, in The Cask of Amontillado, one character endures entrapment of his own – Fortunato. In contrast, Poe’s entrapment does not have a polarizing effect on the way one views world but rather how one does not view the world due to physical entrapment by way of fortification. For Poe, the pretentious Fortunato winds up in chains only able to produce “a succession of loud and shrill screams,” (Poe 396). Fortunato was a fool who sunk his teeth into a matter he had no business being in. Similar to a snake whose fangs bite the heel of a foot only to be crushed; Fortunato was that snake and Montresor was the judge, jury, and executioner who sought to “punish with impunity,” (Poe 390). Per Wine Cellar, a cask of fino is considered to be Amontillado if “it is intentionally killed, simply by fortifying it,” (“Cellar”); the subtlety of Poe shines through yet again as Fortunato was intentionally killed off by

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