Young Goodman Brown Versus the Fall of the House of Usher

1437 words 6 pages
Angela Higgerson Dr. Lewis

ENGL 2041

3 March 2010

In both, Nathanial Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” and Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher” the protagonists, Young Goodman Brown and the narrator experience a journey into the subconscious. Both stories have an overlap that blurs the boundaries of reality and fantasy. It is truly the supernatural aspects of these two stories that force the protagonists and the reader to delve into the realm of the subconscious and to scrutinize good versus evil and real versus imaginary.

Both stories have a setting of gloom and foreboding that alludes to where the stories are heading. In Young Goodman Brown, his wife Faith pleads with him to postpone
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They were singing hymns of sin and evil after which flames shoot up from the rock. All of this serves to heighten the suspense of the story and give the tale a fevered pitch that he uses to evoke a nightmarish imagery.

The mass of foliage, that had overgrown the summit of the rock, was all on fire, blazing high into the night, and fitfully illuminating the whole field. (611) And with the final peal of that dreadful anthem, there came a sound, as if the roaring wind, the rushing streams, the howling beasts, and every other voice of guilty man, in homage to the prince of all. The four blazing pines threw up a loftier flame, and obscurely discovered shapes and visages of horror on the smoke-wreaths, above the impious assembly. (612)

The next morning Brown awakens in the forest and goes back to town. Everything and everyone seem to be back to normal. Brown wonders if it could have all been a dream. If Brown truly did fall asleep in the woods and dream the tale, then what was the true reason for his trip? It is never explained, which would then imply to the reader that Hawthorne intended for the readers to lean toward the supernatural explanation. The end result in Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” is that regardless of the reality, Brown is forever changed into a dark, distrustful person.

Poe, like Hawthorne, has many examples of the supernatural