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Similarities Between Young Goodman Brown And Edgar Allan Poe

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During the late 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century, a new movement in both literature and art swept the nation: Romanticism. This period set a heavy emphasis on emotion and individualism, and while many artists and authors explored the beautiful and fantastical side of the human mind, many more explored the darker, horror-filled side. Two authors especially famous for these kinds of stories were Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “Young Goodman Brown” (“YGB”), Goodman Brown traverses into the forest to meet with the devil and discovers many haunting things about the people in his town. In Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “Masque of the Red Death” (“Masque”), Prince Prospero, the ruling monarch of a country besieged by death, refuses to accept his mortality. Goodman Brown takes pride in his and his town members’ spiritual goodness and refuses to accept the idea that he or anyone else could commit sins, but is psychologically destroyed when he discovers the true nature of the people around him. Prince Prospero similarly takes pride in his wealth and fortune and will not accept his death, but the disease he was trying to avoid arrives and takes his life. Through their initial rejections, the two characters cause the destruction of a critical part of themselves, whether it be their faith in humanity or their physical body. Hawthorne and Poe both establish how pride causes an unwillingness to accept one’s fate, and how the
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