The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe vs The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Powerful Essays
“The Tell-Tale Heart is one of Edgar Allan Poe’s greatest fictional short stories. It is known for its repulsive and insane homicide; a very wild and thrilling tale. Likewise, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s well-known novel, The Scarlet Letter, is famous for its directness on sexual conflict. Both writings possess similarities with regards to modified characters, connected symbolism, and significant midpoints. Due to these comparisons, it is quite certain that Hawthorne found inspiration in writing The Scarlet Letter after reading “The Tell Tale-Heart”.

Edger Allan Poe is one of the most famous and controversial authors of many short stories and novels. He is generally known for his Gothic Genre that mainly deals with the darker elements as well as the supernatural; including a feel of horror, supernatural, and darkness. Furthermore, elements like the setting tend to feel gloomy with the incorporation of rain and storms. The tone and the feeling of his stories are mysterious that lead to suspense and fear. Poe is not like other authors who end their stories with a happy ending; rather the ending to his work is gruesome and usually does not give the reader closure. Due to his uniqueness of writing, critics placed him “in the first rank of American artist” (Rahn). Common themes of Poe’s work consist of murder, revenge, and insanity. “The Tell-Tale Heart” is one of his most popular Gothic writings where the narrator fights to prove his sanity rather his innocence.

In his late teens, Nathaniel Hawthorne refused to thrive in a usual profession, “I do not want to be a doctor and live by men's diseases, nor a minister to live by their sins, nor a lawyer and live by their quarrels. So, I don't see that there is anything left for me but to be...

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...ting this novel was to reveal the hypocrisy of a Puritans life. He wanted to provide a moral message and psychological complexity. The Scarlet Letter may be one of the few novels that will continue to be taught in literature as it deals with sin, punishment, and guilt.

Works Cited

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “The Scarlet Letter”. American Literature: Volume One. Ed. William E. Cain. New York: Pearson, 2004. 809-813. Print

Kopley, Richard. “Hawthorne’s transplanting and transforming ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’”. GALE Studies in American Fiction 23.2 (1995): 231-234

“Nathaniel Hawthorne-Biography”. The European Graduate School. Web. 21 May. 2014.

Poe, Edgar A. “The Tell-Tale Heart”. American Literature: Volume One. Ed. William E. Cain. New York: Pearson, 2004. 809-813. Print

Rahn, Josh. “Romanticism”. The Literature Network. Jalac Inc. (2011). Web. 21 May. 2014.
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