`` Young Goodman Brown `` And `` The Cask Of Amontillado ``

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Some of the first impactful, original, and insightful writers of the United States were in the era of American Romanticism. Authors, such as Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe, began to flourish in new ideas to progress the evolution of the American literary identity. “Young Goodman Brown” and “The Cask of Amontillado,” short stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edgar Allan Poe, respectively, illustrate protagonists on journeys to fulfill their own desires. Utilizing setting and the motif of guilt, Hawthorne and Poe create stories where a protagonist completes a journey that eventually leads to the realization that a clean conscience has a crucial role to one 's life. Throughout both short stories, the settings of the protagonists’ physical journeys parallel their emotional ones. Hawthorne utilizes a dark, mystical forest to highlight the fact that Brown takes an abnormal path. Similarly, Poe uses the dark catacombs of Italy filled with the dead to showcase the path Montresor and Fortunato take to their desired destination for the live burial of Fortunato. Additionally, in the course of their journeys, each of the main characters reflect on their actions and both come to realize they have committed reprehensible acts. Hawthorne takes Brown on a journey where he realizes over time the extent of the sins he has committed and suffers guilt for his hypocrisy toward others. Montresor, determined to bury Fortunato alive, demonstrates signs of guilt even before he has committed

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