Dr. Heidegger's Experiment

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The Theme of Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment by, Nathaniel Hawthorne. The short story, Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne is filled with thoughtful themes and moralistic lessons that reflect to our human nature. Even though Dr. Heidegger’s experiment seems like it is to test the water’s vitalizing power, there is a much deeper meaning towards the experiment than just testing the physical effects of the water on the subjects. It has evidently indicated that Dr. Heidegger already knows the power of the water on the physical characteristics, however he is more interested in knowing the effects of the water on the mental state of mind of the subjects. The purpose of the experiment was to test that if humans were given a second…show more content…
As we view in the story that even though the subjects of the experiment had greatly suffered from their actions in the past, and had understood the mistakes they had made earlier, yet made the same mistakes as before when they were provided a second chance. After drinking the water from the Fountain of Youth, they began to demonstrate the same behaviors and actions that had caused sorrow in their life earlier. They began to fight over Widow Wycherley, and came to a point in the story where they were ready to kill each other for dancing with Widow Wycherley. Dr. Heidegger seems to have learned from testing his subject that instead of becoming younger to fix mistakes of the past, one should use those experiences to help avoid the same mistakes again, and make a positive change. By trying to become younger, Dr. Heidegger was likely to make the same mistakes as the subjects of the experiment, because it is human nature to do so. Therefore instead of going back in time, he learned that it is better to use the past to achieve a better future. It is clear that Dr. Heidegger has understood the theme because he says in the story, “Well--I bemoan it not; for if the fountain gushed at my very doorstep, I would not stoop to bathe my lips in it--no, though its delirium were
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