Compare a story by Hawthorne with one of Poe’s works

The two authors Nathaniel Hawthorne and Allan Poe wrote during one period of dark Romanticism. The authors use their skill in arts to explore the immediate issues affecting human beings. The pieces selected for evaluation in this research piece are The Ravens by Edgar Allan Poe and The Minister’s Black Veil by Nathaniel Hawthorne. During most of their elucidation of human’s social and psychological issues, they approach them in critical points of view and exposes them in contrast using paradox in displaying the little dilemma and the main themes in their stories. The works explore the mystical together with the melancholic facets existing in the Americans’ points of view. Throughout the works, both authors evaluate the existing conflict between good and wickedness, the mental impacts of wrongdoing and guilt together with madness and irrationality in the human mind. Even though the authors concur on the issues that they highlight in their stories, both authors offer different approaches throughout their work.


Both artists employ the use of symbolism greatly in their pieces and directly to outline real humanity characters and events. Hawthorne uses the black veils to signify a lurking sin amongst the character even though such evil is manifested in one character more as compared to others. On the contrary, Edgar Allan Poe applies similar symbols such as ravens together with coffins as the unbiased correlatives to the thoughts of his characters. When Poe uses the Ravens in his piece, he expects the appreciators to compare the behavior of the characters to those of the mentioned birds. In a greater extent, it should be understood that such character shares traits greatly with Ravens who are known as being scavengers, greedy and malicious in their activities.

Gothic conventions are greatly used by both writers to depict the darker side of human activities. The Gothics are scary, and when used then the outlined behavior is gauged well and should be understood as the peak of sinful deed outlined. In The Ravens by Poe, the gothic conventions are used to signify human beings as the origin of the sins and wickedness. The conventions are employed subverted throughout by Poe. Contrarily, Hawthorne employs the same technique in a different manner since The Minister’s Black Veil uses the conventions in a more traditional way. According to the writer, the gothic remains in their raw way in depicting physical threat to the humanity especially the characters who come into contact with them directly.

There is a concise similarity between the works of the two writers. Both writers use light as well as dark imagery in their stories. In The Minister’s Black Veil, there is significant us of both imagery, for instance, the black veils. Compared to The Ravens, the imagery is extensively used to depict the situations. Consider typical Ravens and what the unrest they can cause both in the jungle and in the urban settings as well.

According to Poe’s stories and The Ravens analyzed in this context, the main intent is to generate one effect entirely. Hawthorne’s story – The Minister’s Black Veil incorporates a broader extent of ambiguity in its ending. For instance, at the end of the story when Hooper is dying, he states that he seen black veil on the faces of all the people surrounding his death bead though does not explain or clarify. This is contrary to the precision targeted by Poe for a specific psychological effect at a time.

Themes and Opinions

The main theme in The Minister’s Black Veil is symbolism and as Reverend Mr. Hooper puts it that the morals should have the veils covering their faces since all have a secret of sin in their lives. In as much as Hawthorne is perceived as being a dedicated narrator interested in displaying the dark and the most evils sections of the human soul with the intent of displaying the rottenness of the human mind as the truth of humanity, this is not the same perspective with Allan Poe. Poe finds the darkness and the incorporated imagery to be more than what a human being can tolerate; it is too scary. To demonstrate evil deeds of humanity, Poe employs unreliable narrator who also finds the explanation too much for their psyche to withstand and screams in fear at the end.


This research is a success in elucidating a comprehensive contrast between the two writers, Poe, and Hawthorne. According to this explanation, the thesis statement is proved right that the two artists are different in their approaches to similar issues throughout their selected works for comparison. Themes and techniques used in writing stories are the epicenters for comparison and contrast and through the two aspects the contrast has been a success.


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