Essay on Compare and Contrast in Edgar Allen Poe

1180 Words Feb 19th, 2011 5 Pages
Edgar Allen Poe’s use of the first person narrative in The Tell-tale Heart is much more effective than Nathaniel Hawthorne’s use of the third person in Young Goodman Brown because the use of the first person in Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart allows the reader to feel the narrator’s panic while the third person narrator in Young Goodman Brown only tells the story and the reader does not feel the main character’s feelings. By telling the story of the Tell Tale Heart in the first person, Poe allows his readers to see the build up of the main characters insanity with the use of language and crazy and rambling dialogue. On the other hand, Hawthorne’s use of the third person simply narrates the story and tells of Brown’s feelings rather than having …show more content…
Later in the story, Young Goodman Brown has a conversation with the devil. The devil tells Brown that he was acquainted with his father and grandfather and that they had been involved in evil business. Brown shows no emotion when he receives this information. The reader does not know if Brown is frightened, repulsed or disgusted by the thought of his relatives consorting with the devil. Brown does not even try to deny such a claim which, in early New England, would surely have been heresy. Brown’s only response to the information is to say,” If it be as thou sayest, replied Goodman Brown, I marvel they never spoke of these matters. Or, verily, I marvel not, seeing that the last rumor of the sort would have driven them from New England.” Again, the reader had no clue as to Brown’s true emotions. In order for a reader to care about the story, how it ends, whether or not it is true, a reader has to have an idea of what the main character thinks. The reader needs to know more than the words that are spoken; he needs to know the sentiment behind the words. At the end of the story, the reader does not know if the story is true nor does he necessarily care because the use of the third person narrator did not enable the reader to feel a connection with Young Goodman Brown. On the other hand, Edgar Allen Poe writes in the first person narrator and the reader is able to experience all that the main character is

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