The Birthmark And Rappaccini's Daughter Literary Analysis

Great Essays
Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote two short stories: “The Birthmark” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter”; which show how nature and science can both be positive and negative. But while they are written by the same author and have the same general message, when looking deeply at the texts, a different theme and narrative can arise. The stories of “The Birthmark”, “Rappaccini’s Daughter”, and the poem “The Tables Turned” show the different facets of the struggle of science versus nature, while emphasizing the pursuit of perfection, examining outside influences, and discovering connections between the two stories.
In examining the struggle of science vs. nature, we must first analyze each story by itself, and recognize its relationship. First, in looking
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Obviously, this manipulating of science is within the garden of Rappaccini, but there is a concrete difference between the science of Aylmer from “The Birthmark” and the science of Rappaccini from “Rappaccini’s Daughter”. Aylmer uses science in an attempt to perfect his wife, while Rappaccini uses his science in a way that seems like he has gone insane, using his daughter as his test subject. Rappaccini falls under the category of intellectual pride, as it is his only goal to provide an end to the loneliness of Beatrice. However, Aylmer and Rappaccini are alike in the way that “he cares indefinitely more for science than for mankind. His patients are interesting to him only as subjects… he would sacrifice human life.” (Male 105). At the end of each short story, someone dies because of a failed experiment. In “Rappaccini’s Daughter”, Baglioni is the opposite of Rappaccini, as he is a scientist and professor who respects the art of science . Baglioni is much more outgoing, and can also be seen as the “normal conscience”, because he did not fall for the beauty of Beatrice, and he provides an “antidote against her poisonous nature.” (Male 100). In both of these stories, the women are the downfall for the men. In “The Birthmark”, Aylmer kills Georgina because of their joint pursuit of perfection, while in “Rappaccini’s Daughter”, Beatrice’s …show more content…
This whole story is one elaborate Christian parallel. This is an example of an Eden story, based off of the one from Genesis in the Bible. In the story, Giovanni can be seen as a Christian who is facing the tests just as Adam and Eve did in the Garden of Eden (Garden), and the failure to do the right thing even though God (in this case Baglioni) told them to, and Satan (Beatrice) was their downfall (102). The story ends with the death of Beatrice, which then leaves Giovanni to live a life that is miserable, much like life after Eve sinned and ate the fruit. Although it appears to be an example of an “Eden story”, there are some odd points to be made (Male 102). In Rappaccini’s garden, all is bad, except for the one good, who is Giovanni, and it is looked after by someone who is very bad, Rappaccini. This is the opposite of the Garden of Eden, where all is good except for the forbidden tree, and God looks over the garden instead of Satan. Beatrice can have many roles in this parallel between the garden of Rappaccini and Eden. She is the fruit, when Giovanni was constantly told to stay away from her, she is Eve throughout the story when she speaks to Giovanni, making that connection. Beatrice is the “embodiment of the central Christian paradox”, she is “angelic but corrupt, beautiful but damned” (Male

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