young goodman brown

What is one comparison between the stories "Young Goodman Brown" and "William Wilson"?


Edgar Allan Poe's "William Wilson" and Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" are comparable in how they both detail the psychological toll of coming to terms with versions of reality.

In "Young Goodman Brown," Hawthorne describes a man's loss of innocence in how he realizes that the town he grew up in and thought he knew actually has major moral failings. Poe's "William Wilson" similarly explores versions of reality in how the narrator believes things to be true, only to have these beliefs destroyed in the end. In both cases, a type of fiction is used to hide reality: Goodman Brown's fiction is that his town is moral and good, and William Wilson the narrator's is that the imagination is powerful enough to create its own reality.

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