Rappaccini's Daughter Nathaniel Hawthorne Term Paper

Download this Term Paper in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from Term Paper:

Rappacinni's Daughter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne [...] what the story is about, along with some other interpretations of the meaning of the story. Many different interpretations of this story exist, however, the one that seems to make the most sense is the underlying story of the father and daughter, and how their relationship alters as Beatrice grows older. The father is so immersed in his scientific study that he has ignored his daughter's growing up, but he understands her needs as a woman, and tries to supply them the only way he knows how - with a lover immune to her poison. It is the ultimate love of a father, to create the "perfect" man for his daughter.

Rappacinni's Daughter

Rappacinni's Daughter" is a complex and magical story, and so, it has been interpreted in many different ways. There are many who believe Hawthorne wrote the story as a religious allegory, with heavy Biblical symbolism wound throughout the story - from the mystical garden itself, to the strange characters that inhabit the house and garden. In the opening, Hawthorne makes an obvious reference to Dante's "Inferno," which obviously describes this poisonous garden that is so evil. He also describes Dr. Rappaccini as the Devil by his black dress and his lack of "warmth of heart" (Hawthorne). There are even references to the garden of Eden and the evil serpents as plants slither along the ground, establishing the idea that this is the Garden of Eden. However, nothing so evil could ever be Eden, and what the doctor does to his daughter could never be considered good or moral, and so, the religious implications may be strong in this story, but they are certainly not the only interpretation that holds any credence.

The beautiful Beatrice is the central character of the story, even though Giovanni narrates it. Giovanni finds Beatrice more beautiful even than the flowers of the mysterious garden. "...more beautiful than the richest of them, but still to be touched only with a glove, nor to be approached without a mask" (Hawthorne). Yet, her father is feeble and ugly, so it is difficult to believe the beautiful daughter came from the old man. Clearly, there is magic in the garden, and the father has harnessed it. Now, he knows his time is limited, and he wants to make sure his daughter is taken care of after he is gone.

Throughout the story, there are many references to the relationship between the father and the daughter, and what it means to them. Giovanni realizes Beatrice has never been outside the garden - she has led a very sheltered and lonely life. Her father realizes this too, and attempts to provide her with the perfect man, one who is immune to the numerous poisons running through her system. Her father has taught her everything he knows, but she does not recognize her knowledge. She tells Giovanni, "Do people say that I am skilled in my father's science of plants? What a jest is there! No; though I have grown up among these flowers, I know no more of them than their hues and perfume; and sometimes, methinks I would fain rid myself of even that small knowledge" (Hawthorne). Beatrice sees the wisdom in her father, and understands he is a great scientist. This relationship is quite typical of the father-daughter relationships throughout time. The father worships and dotes on the daughter, and attempts to pass on his knowledge to her, while the daughter worships the father, and recognizes all of his strengths while ignoring his weaknesses. She does not see their relationship, or her lonely life, as unusual; in fact, she is quite comfortable with it. This is another measure of the father-daughter relationship. Both parties are quite comfortable in the relationship. Their bond is even more strong because there clearly is no mother to pull Beatrice in another direction. Her bond is directly and only with her father, and there is no outside influence that has come between them until the arrival of Giovanni.

The father has inflicted a terrible price on his daughter, but he does not recognize it. "Miserable!' exclaimed Rappaccini. 'What mean you, foolish girl? Dost thou deem it misery to be endowed with marvellous gifts, against which no power nor strength could avail an enemy? Misery, to be able to quell the mightiest with a breath?'" (Hawthorne). As she has grown, she understands her father…[continue]

Cite This Term Paper:

"Rappaccini's Daughter Nathaniel Hawthorne" (2003, December 01) Retrieved October 25, 2016, from http://www.paperdue.com/essay/rappaccini-daughter-nathaniel-hawthorne-157137

"Rappaccini's Daughter Nathaniel Hawthorne" 01 December 2003. Web.25 October. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/rappaccini-daughter-nathaniel-hawthorne-157137>

"Rappaccini's Daughter Nathaniel Hawthorne", 01 December 2003, Accessed.25 October. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/rappaccini-daughter-nathaniel-hawthorne-157137

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Rappaccini s Daughter

    RAPPACCINI'S DAUGHTER -- SCIENCE "RAPPACCINI'S DAUGHTER" In Nathaniel Hawthorne's 1844 fantasy tale "Rappaccini's Daughter," Dr. Giacomo Rappaccini is clearly obsessed with science, for Hawthorne states that he cares "infinitely more for science than for mankind" and would "sacrifice human life. . . For the sake of adding so much as a grain of mustard seed to the great heap of his accumulated knowledge." Dr. Rappaccini's obsession for the power that science brings

  • Nathaniel Hawthorne s Tales Hawthorne s Writings Serve as

    Nathaniel Hawthorne's Tales Hawthorne's writings serve as a social commentary on the inherent dangers in blind acceptance of religious teachings. There is ample scope to interpret all three stories of "Young Goodman Brown," "The Birthmark," and "Ethan Brand," as Hawthorne's commentary on the consequences of allowing religion to mar true recognition of goodness and beauty. All three stories highlight the fact that human kindness and faith are more important than obsession with

  • Hawthorne Tale Rappaccini s Daughter Hawthorne s

    The beauty of Rappaccini's garden vies with that of the paradisiacal beauty. The greatest difference between the two however is that Rappaccini's scientific quest for knowledge is barren and loveless. Nature, as created by God, is filled with the divine love of its creator and this particular quality cannot be copied by the hand of man. The story is pivoted on the love story between Beatrice, Rappaccini's daughter who

  • Hawthorne Author Nathaniel Hawthorne s Literary Works Constantly

    Hawthorne Author Nathaniel Hawthorne's literary works constantly reference ideas of the supernatural and the religious ideas of the Puritans who colonized the United States. Of particular interest to Hawthorne is how these two things work together in that time period. Many of Nathaniel Hawthorne's works take place in Colonial times, a good century before the author himself was born. His own ancestors were active participants in Puritan society, even serving as

  • Nathaniel Hawthorne s Beliefs Concerning Ethics Morality and

    Nathaniel Hawthorne's beliefs concerning ethics, morality, and guilt as made evident in one of these stories. Consider how beliefs affect characterization, setting, plotting, and theme. In the story of Rappaccini's daughter, the narrator becomes infatuated with a young woman whose life literally has become poisoned, because of her father's influence. Unlike a conventional Christian system of morality, as is typical of most of the author's other tales, the girl is

  • Nathaniel Hawthorne the Objective of This Work

    Nathaniel Hawthorne The objective of this work is to examine Nathaniel Hawthorne's works and to conduct a comparison of the life of Hawthorne to his short stories and to examine how his life and his works paralleled one another. The life of Nathaniel Hawthorne many times was played out in his stories as his life events and experiences bled forth into his works demonstrating the struggles that the writer faced within himself

  • Hawthorne s Rejection of Puritan Values

    " Mather 22) Hawthorne clearly stepped away from the Puritan ethic by consistently alluding to the existence of the earthly supernatural. Though this was a fear of the Puritans, clearly it was associated with Satan and possession of the living. In Hawthorne's works the supernatural was associated with less grand sources, such as those seen in Young Goodman Brown. (Hoeltje 39-40) Hawthorne allows his characters to explore concepts that would have been

Read Full Term Paper
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved