Brown: Montresor Vs. Brown

559 Words3 Pages
The gloomy atmospheres of both stories, coupled with the negative connotations associated with each protagonist’s mindset, detrimentally affect the choices and decisions both Brown and Montresor make. These decisions alter the protagonist lives permanently by acting on actions that cannot be undone. The guide leading Brown on his journey takes him deeper into the heart of the forest, so that he may discover the truth about himself and the people he surrounds himself with. At the start of the story, the path was straight and narrow, a representation of the Puritan journey of life. Now, as Brown realizes the cruel truth about humanity which has sin and flaws, the path then suddenly alters to a “wilder and drearier” one (Hawthorne 8). When he…show more content…
This symbolizes Brown leaving his good conscience behind and becoming engulfed in the evil of his distorted reality. When he realizes this, he begins to deny the truth that he is also morally flawed. Therefore, the physical path disappears as well as his emotional path within himself that gives him direction to his life; when his emotional path disappears, he becomes spiritually lost and does not know how he should live his life anymore. Without a pure conscience, Brown does not know how to function as a member of a Puritan society which results in Brown being a social outcast and bitter toward his wife and the townspeople. Likewise, Montresor’s journey begins in a carnival where Fortunato, drunk and alone, becomes lured by Montresor by offering Fortunato some Amontillado. When they travel through the catacombs of Italy, he leads Fortunato to his planned location for the live burial. Beginning their journey into the catacombs, Poe writes, “‘Nitre?’ he asked, at length ‘Nitre,’ I…show more content…
Ugh! Ugh!—Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! — Ugh ! Ugh! Ugh! ...’ My poor friend found it impossible to reply for many minutes. ‘It is nothing,’ he said, at last’” (Poe 5). The catacombs are used to bury people so nitre is formed out of the moisture in the air and is used to help seal the bodies into the walls of the catacombs. Just like sealing the bodies into the walls, Montresor is sealing his good conscience away by purposely preventing Fortunato from talking to him. Fortunato and Montresor’s name literally represent the meanings fortune and monster which can be interpreted as the meanings good and bad. Without the good in Fortunato talking to the bad in Montresor because of the nitre, Fortunato cannot reason with Montresor which would lead to Montresor having sympathy toward Fortunato and not have the motive to kill. By Montresor enforcing a fake relationship with Fortunato, not only does he betray Fortunato, but he betrays his good conscience by murdering Fortunato. Throughout both the journeys in the disheartened settings, each character experiences, their own type of self-reflection to help realize who they truly
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