Symbolism In Dr. Heidegger's Experiment

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Oftentimes, people tend to lie to others because they fear the consequences from telling the truth. Many people frequently make the same mistakes, whether they realize it or not, and the temptation and sudden impulse to make these blunders are catalysts for continuing those mistakes. For instance, Dr. Heidegger’s friends regret their past mistakes; however, they do not learn from them when given a second chance, whereas Heidegger sees the failure in his experiments and learns not to mess with time or eternal youth. In “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, using fluctuating characterizations paired with the contrasting symbolism of the mirror and kissing the rose support the theme that people make the same errors but should accept …show more content…
To initiate, the stagnancy of the gascon Mr. Gascoigne and self-loving Ms. Wycherly displays making the same errors. For example, in their past, “Mr. Gascoigne [is] a man of evil fame [...] Widow Wycherly [is] a great beauty” (Hawthorne 252). When Heidegger’s peers get a “removal of weight in years”, Mr. Gascoigne still has “patriotism [, and] Widow Wycherly [...] loved [herself] better than all the world” (Hawthorne 257). Because their personalities are natural and fixed, albeit detrimental for their lives, they stay as their past selves after their rejuvenation. Thus, they make the same blunders that lead to their melancholic mood because they cannot comprehend the reasons for why their inherent characteristics create their dismal life. Even when people get a second chance at redemption, they will still make the same faults if they do not learn why and how their past actions …show more content…
To start, the mirror in Heidegger’s study symbolizes the human nature of repeating mistakes. After the revitalization of Heidegger’s friends, the “tall mirror [...] reflected the figures of the three old [...] contending for the skinny ugliness of a shriveled grandam” (Hawthorne 258-259). This mirror symbolizes the human nature of repeating mistakes as it reflects the past feud between the three men for Wycherly in the image of their older selves even though they are younger. Hence, envisioning them as elders, feuding over Wycherly again, proves that, even with their exterior renewals, they still remain the same type of people at the interior level. Also, similar to how a mirror shows identical images toward the person looking at it, the men and Wycherly exhibit their repeated mistakes for Heidegger to see. The constant display of their mistakes becomes guises, exhibiting their past selves, which will then engulf their present selves and push them to make the same wrong choices and halt progress into their future. Altogether, Gascoigne, Wycherly, and their two acquaintances do not grasp the consequences when repeating mistakes and continuing to show them toward others, so they will continue to stay stationary in their lives. Additionally, the symbolism of the doctor kissing his rose shows moving past mistakes to progress in life. Toward the end, the doctor kisses the rose and

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