Rappaccini's Daughter Literary Analysis

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Literature for the Ages In “Rappaccini’s Daughter”, author Nathan Hawthorne illustrates the story of Giovanni Guasconti, a scholar who finds a mysterious, metaphorical garden owned by a strange old scientist, Rappaccini, and tended by his very beautiful daughter, Beatrice. Giovanni begins to see that none of the plants appear natural, as if they were created by man instead of nature. One day, while eyeing the garden, Guasconti notices that Beatrice delicately destroys everything that she touches. Intrigued, he wishes to meet with her. When an old family friend, Baglioni, warns Giovanni of Rappaccini and his treacherous garden, he refuses to listen. Driven by curiosity and temptation, he sneaks into the garden and befriends Beatrice. Because…show more content…
To solve this problem, he uses an extended metaphor throughout the piece: the connection between an extremely well-known biblical tale and his own story in order to provoke a special reaction from his audience. Throughout the piece, Giovanni is faced with intense curiosity and temptation, similar to the story of Adam and Eve. Giovanni hungers to learn more about Beatrice’s powers, similar to Eve, who craved to learn more about the powers revolving around the forbidden fruit. Even though both Eve and Giovanni are warned to stay away, they disregard the warning because of their uncontrollable desires. This allegory resonated with readers of that time in particular, as Christianity governed life in the 1800s. The association unofficially ties the two pieces together in such a unique way that the reader immediately develops a relatable, individual connection to Giovanni and his struggles. The use of religion to impact readers was prevalent in early American literature. In Cotton Mather’s piece “The Wonders of the Invisible World”, a new land was settled by colonists. At first, the years were prosperous and citizens kept a strong sense of morality. However, over time, temptations crept into society, and turmoil took control. Mathers uses the correlation between these temptations and the Devil to provoke a response from his audience, just as…show more content…
Giovanni desperately wants to follow his heart and have a romantic relationship with Beatrice, however he knows he should not. His mind is too clouded to think rationally, but he chooses follow his heart and pursue Beatrice anyways. In literature, this theme is similar to the ideas present in Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Nature”. In this short story, Emerson talks about how important it is to view and understand our environment from the heart, and not just from the mind. He speaks of how nature begins to make more sense and becomes more beautiful when a person looks upon the world from their heart. Both authors pose these conflicts as a dilemma between polar opposites because it incites further thought from the

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