Poe vs Hawthorne

Powerful Essays
Literature Comparisons Between Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne

Kimberley Prescott

LIT/210

08/01/2012
Sherry Salant

Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne

Popular literature is incomplete without the names of Edgar Allan Poe and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Both of these authors lived in the same time period, yet lived very opposite lives. In fact, Poe received notoriety for criticizing Nathaniel Hawthorne. (Poe, 1847) In his career, he wrote several critiques of Hawthorne’s work. On a personal level, Poe often disagreed with how often Hawthorne used allegory. As a literary element that many people use, Poe was not a fan. He once stated that: “I allude to the strain of allegory which completely overwhelms the greater number of his subjects, and which in some measure interferes with the direct conduct of absolutely all.” (Poe, 1847) It seems as though Poe regarded Hawthorne’s work as works of allegory. To say that this was the only literary element he employed, however, would be false. Throughout history, authors have endeavoured to master other forms of literary elements, to become the master of those elements, and equal to none in them. By comparing “The Cask of Amontillado” with “Young Goodman Brown”, is to study two masters, at odds with their specific forms of writing, but each a master in his own right. Each story shows how two people that can be so far apart on a scale, can use the same literary elements in similar and different ways without compromising their work as a whole.
Foreshadowing
Foreshadowing is vital in the world of literature. Foreshadowing is always about being subtle. How can an author slip in a clue or help build a story to a dramatic, yet unforeseen conclusion? Foreshadowing in the hands of a master seems to be a piece of elegance and can be so subtle that the reader wonders how he or she missed it to begin with. In “The Cask of Amontillado”, Poe is quite verbose. Even before the foreshadowing begins, Poe



References: Cummings, Michael J. “The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) A Study Guide” 2005 Retrieved from http://cummingsstudyguides.net/Guides7/Caskof.html#Cask Hawthorne, Nathaniel Poe, E. A. (1846). The Cask of Amontillado. Retrieved from http://www.poedecoder.com/Qrisse/works/amontillado.php Poe, Edgar Allan Poe, E. A. (1847). Tale-Writing – Nathaniel Hawthorne. Retrieved from http://www.eapoe.org/works/criticism/hawthgr.htm Poe, E

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