Different Colors Of Darkness By Nathaniel Hawthorne And Edgar Allen Poe

995 Words4 Pages
Callie Shipley
Mrs. Carroll
Literature 2326
5 October 2014
Different Hues of Darkness
At first glance, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allen Poe may appear as though they are two birds of a feather. Their stories are often dark and dismal, and an enduring despair runs through the tales as a common thread. However, their inspirations originate from opposite ends of the spectrum. Hawthorne’s works are the offspring of legalistic Puritan values and beliefs; on the other hand, Poe’s stories reflect godlessness. While the characters of both authors often face a grim destination, the writers show through their unique styles that the path to hopelessness can take many different routes.
These contrasting motivations first surface in the authors’ tones. Hawthorne’s solemn words hearken to the Puritan mantra of stringent moral standards and the belief of a wicked world. In “Young Goodman Brown,” the protagonist learns about the evil concealed in the hearts of people he reveres. In the same way Brown’s exposure robs him of hope and joy, Hawthorne’s themes of evil’s pervasiveness rob his stories of optimism. His disheartening opinion of humanity’s state echoes Puritan beliefs, and because of the prevalence of this belief in his stories, his tales are melancholy by necessity. In contrast to the stern Puritan perspective, Poe’s tone most resembles Gothic Romanticism. Eerie settings such as the abbey in “Ligeia” exemplify this melancholy style. Poe describes the abbey as having “gloomy and

More about Different Colors Of Darkness By Nathaniel Hawthorne And Edgar Allen Poe

Get Access