The Allegory In Young Goodman Brown And The Masque Of The Red Death

April 27, 2022 by Essay Writer

“Young Goodman Brown”, the allegory of the fall of man, by Nathaniel, is built with a description in which young Goodman Brown goes on a “journey” through the forest. Although the story unfolds in one day, the author prefers to depart from a chronologically ordered pattern going back and forth between past and present, since there are some deviations from the chronological progression. These deviations can be embodied with analepsis, a form of flashback in which earlier parts of a narrative are related to others that have already been narrated. Some examples can be seen in lines 114 and 226. Also, when the author relates how the Devil explains to Brown that his family is not as well acquainted as he thought, and also connects the story to real events (lines 82-86). 

Another short of deviation from the chronological is prolepsis or anticipation. By using anticipation, the author gives clues about what is going to happen and adds dramatic tension to a story by building the foreshadowing of what is going to happen. Anticipation can make extraordinary or outlandish events seem more credible; if something is foreshadowed in the text, the reader feels prepared for what is going to happen. We can see some examples of prolepsis in lines 26 and 144, as well as an example of possible foreshadowing in line 301. In the last paragraph, Hawthorne narrates what will occur from that day until his death to show what kind of a man Young Goodman Brown becomes (line 422 ).

On the other hand, “The Masque of the Red Death”, by Edgar Allan Poe is an allegory about life and death and the inability of humans to evade death. The presentation of this short story follows the natural sequence of events, that is, it does have a chronological order, although, in the first paragraph the author uses retrospection to place us on the scene of events (line 1). Poe predicts from the start that Prospero’s castellated abbey will be invaded by the horror of the Red Death. From the beginning, we realize that it is impossible to avoid death for too long, even though Prospero is trying hard. Poe also uses imagery to foreshadow that death is coming, descriptions of the black room with the red windows augur the grim ending. Even the clock chiming in the seventh room is a symbol that time passes and reinforces the idea that death will come for everyone. Poe anticipates the idea that we cannot escape from death with the hourly sound of the bells.


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