Compare and Contrast in Edgar Allen Poe Essay

Words: 1200
Pages: 5

Edgar Allen Poe’s use of the first person narrative in The Tell-tale Heart is much more effective than Nathaniel Hawthorne’s use of the third person in Young Goodman Brown because the use of the first person in Poe’s The Tell-Tale Heart allows the reader to feel the narrator’s panic while the third person narrator in Young Goodman Brown only tells the story and the reader does not feel the main character’s feelings. By telling the story of the Tell Tale Heart in the first person, Poe allows his readers to see the build up of the main characters insanity with the use of language and crazy and rambling dialogue. On the other hand, Hawthorne’s use of the third person simply narrates the story and tells of Brown’s feelings rather than having …show more content…
This allows the reader to become more involved in the story and therefore be more vested in the outcome. The reader is not left to make his own assumptions; the information is given to him through the main characters dialogue. In the beginning of “The Tell-Tale Heart,” the dialogue that the main character has regarding his feelings about the old man and his eye clearly show his madness. He states that he loves the old man and has no ill feelings toward him but hates only his eye. Yet, the main character kills the old man. With the use of the first person narrator, it is easy to understand the level of the main character’s insanity because he, the main character, shows it with his actions and words. If this were written in another form, where the events were simply reported, the reader would read of the bad deed but not understand the depth of the killer’s insanity. This style encourages the reader to continue to read the story to see just how far the main character’s psychosis will take him. Later, when describing his encounter with the police, the narrator explains his anxiety when he says, “I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears…No doubt I now grew very pale; - but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice.” The narrator paints a clear picture of himself. It is easy for the reader to visualize the main characters body language and to understand his state of