Preview
Preview

Comparing Artist of the Beautiful, Rappaccini's Daughter, Birthmark and Prophetic Pictures

No Works Cited
Length: 1050 words (3 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Purple      
Open Document
Need writing help? Check your paper »



- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Comparing Perfection in Artist of the Beautiful, Rappaccini's Daughter, Birthmark and Prophetic Pictures


In four of Hawthorne's stories there is a struggle for power and control as a vehicle to obtain perfection or beauty. In "The Artist of the Beautiful", "Rappaccini's Daughter", "The Birthmark" and "The Prophetic Pictures" the characters are controlled by their desire for perfection in their creations, but they do not achieve their goals without sacrifice.

In "The Artist of the Beautiful" Owen is spends years perfecting his creation. His quest for "the Beautiful" controls him. His sensitivity to delicate perfection affects him even physically as he is made ill by the large mechanical steam engine. "Being once carried to see a steam-engine...he turned pale and grew sick, as if something monstrous and unnatural had been presented to him". He is as delicate as the butterfly he creates. "For Heaven's sake...as you would not drive me mad, do not touch it! The slightest pressure of your finger would ruin me forever". In his obsessive pursuit of perfection he cuts himself off from the human experience. He builds what he believes he was "created for" without a thought to what he is sacrificing to achieve his goal. The butterfly is mysterious and beautiful, but for all of his effort it is destroyed.  Years are sacrificed in the quest for perfection. To Owen the sacrifice may have been well worth it, but considering Hawthorne's warnings about the folly of separating oneself from humanity in other stories, he may again be saying that Owen's quest for mechanical perfection is an empty victory in light of the life and joy he could have had with Annie.

In "Rappaccini's Daughter" the scientist sacrifices his own daughter to bot...


... middle of paper ...


...retched lady!...did I not warn you?", "You did...but- I love him!" Apparently, the artist painted the truth and the fate of Elinor's relationship with Walter, but persuaded by love, she chose to ignore his warnings. The power of the artist is clear. He tried to make Elinor see her future with Walter clearly. But it was the power of denial (and the power of love?) that Elinor chose to follow.

I think Hawthorne may be implying in these stories that perfection is unattainable and the quest for it may be unrewarding, even fatal. In these and some of Hawthorne's other stories, I believe he is reminding people of the delicate blessings of life. Our pursuit of happiness outside of a connection with other people and our reckless endeavor to supersede the power of the supernatural may result in temporary satisfaction, but is ultimately unfulfilling and even dangerous.


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »







This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Artist of the Beautiful Essay - Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Artist of the Beautiful "He had caught a far other butterfly than this. When the artist rose high enough to achieve the beautiful, the symbol by which he made it perceptible to mortal senses became of little value in his eyes while his spirit possessed itself in the enjoyment of the reality." -Hawthorne, "The Artist of the Beautiful". In "The Artist of the Beautiful" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, creative process is represented as the practice of creating an animated mechanism in the shape of a butterfly and imbuing it with the spirit of Owen Warland – the pursuer of beauty....   [tags: Hawthorne Artist Beautiful Essays] 1441 words
(4.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Rappaccini's Daughter Essay: Finding the Heart in Rappaccini's Daughter - Finding the Heart in Rappaccini's Daughter      In Hawthorne's short story, "Rappaccini's Daughter", Rappaccini is ostensibly a cold, calculating scientist. A pure scientist who would willingly give his daughter, himself, or whatever else most precious to him "for the sake of adding so much as a grain of mustard seed to the great heap of his accumulated knowledge" (1641). This leads most to believe that Rappaccini lacks any emotion and concern for his "scientific subjects" and their desires....   [tags: Rappaccini's Daughter Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
915 words
(2.6 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Rappaccini’s Daughter - Perceptions, Impressions, and Interactions Essay -         Writers often use the characters in a story to make a comment on people's actions.  In "Rappaccini's Daughter," by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the characters make a telling comment on the interaction of people within society.  Hawthorne, a "thinker and artist" (Delbanco 14+), creates characters that are much different from what they seem like initially, and this encourages the reader to look deeper into issues instead of judging things by first impressions, rumors, or appearance.  Cappello defines the judging of people as "how [people], in general, translate or read the world" (263).  Hawthorne probes how people look at one another through his portrayal of Baglioni, Rappaccini, Giovanni, an...   [tags: Rappaccini's Daughter Essays]
:: 14 Works Cited
2699 words
(7.7 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
Essay Nathaniel Hawthorne's Rappaccini's Daughter - Nathaniel Hawthorne's Rappaccini's Daughter        American author Nathaniel Hawthorne has been described as a "realist" and one who assesses the American character within the plot lines of his novels.  His story, Rappaccini’s Daughter, follows this style.  Its scenario encompasses the main character of Giovanni Guasconti, a young student who is studying at the University of Padua in a southern region of Italy.  It is Giovanni’s first time away from home and, being of limited resources, must rent an old, dismal, and run-down apartment.  It does however overlook a beautiful garden belonging to a Doctor Giacomo Rappiccini who cultivates it daily with his daugh...   [tags: Rappaccini's Daughter Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
954 words
(2.7 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Rappaccini's Daughter - Ambiguous Essay - Rappaccini’s Daughter   -  Ambiguous     Hawthorne’s Rappaccini’s Daughter is a Gothic romance and a thwarted, almost-allegory with a plethora of ambiguous meanings. As Hawthorne identifies in the previous quote, this story is a blatant parallel towards the story of Original Sin. The issue, then, lies in the representation. Who is playing Adam and Eve. Who is Satan and who is God. At first glance it is easy to assume that the two love birds, Giovanni and Beatrice, are Adam and Eve; while Beatrice’s black cloaked father is Satan, and God is either an omniscient overseer, represented in nature, or absent from the story all together....   [tags: Rappaccini's Daughter Essays]
:: 1 Works Cited
1354 words
(3.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Rappaccini’s Daughter - Women - Women and “Rappaccini’s Daughter”           What are the attitudes of the young medical school student in Hawthorne’s tale, “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” toward women; of the author toward women; of  other characters in the story toward women. Are women involved in basic plot development. This essay intends to answer these and other questions about women in the short story.   Beatrice, Dr. Rappaccini’s daughter, is the prime motivating force in the story. Giovanni’s love for the beautiful daughter, mixed perhaps with pride, blinds him to various indications of her poisonous nature, to the evil nature of her father and to the intent of her father to involve the protagonist as a subject in hi...   [tags: Rappaccini's Daughter Essays]
:: 9 Works Cited
2804 words
(8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Exploring the Ruin of Man in Rappaccini's Daughter Essay - Exploring the Ruin of Man in Rappaccini's Daughter   Who will redeem man from his evil tendencies and his fallen state?  Nathaniel Hawthorne in "Rappaccini's Daughter" delves into the nature of man and reveals that the evil imaginations and machinations of man may eventually lead to his ruin. "Rappaccini's Daughter" is a story set in the mid-nineteenth century in Padua, Italy, a country well known for its romantic stories and history. This period in time was marked by various scientific discoveries, especially in medicine....   [tags: Rappaccini's Daughter Essays]
:: 10 Works Cited
3080 words
(8.8 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on Characterization in Rappaccini’s Daughter - Characterization in “Rappaccini’s Daughter”              The dialogue, action and motivation revolve about the characters in the story (Abrams 32-33). It is the purpose of this essay to demonstrate the types of characters present in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” whether static or dynamic, whether flat or round, and whether portrayed through showing or telling.   The tale takes place in Padua, Italy, where a Naples student named Giovanni Guascanti has relocated in order to attend the medical school there....   [tags: Rappaccini's Daughter Essays]
:: 3 Works Cited
2641 words
(7.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Rappaccini’s Daughter Essay: The Irony - “Rappaccini’s Daughter” – the Irony                 In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s tale, “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” the reader finds numerous ironies, many of which are explained in this essay.   Morse Peckham in “The Development of Hawthorne’s Romanticism” gives an explanation of how Hawthorne uses historicism in his early short stories [“Rappaccini’s Daughter” was in Twice-Told Tales in 1836] for an ironic effect:   The Romantic historicist used the past for a double, interconnected purpose....   [tags: Rappaccini's Daughter Essays]
:: 6 Works Cited
2214 words
(6.3 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Hawthorne's Rappaccini's Daughter Essay - Hawthorne's Rappaccini's Daughter This essay focuses on the way Hawthorne’s “Rappaccini’s Daughter” articulates the tension between the spirit and the empirical world. Hawthorne challenges the empirical world Rappaccini, both malevolent for his experimentation with human nature and sympathetic for his love for his daughter, represents, by raising an aesthetic question Rappaccini implicitly asks. Hawthorne never conclusively answers this question in his quest to preserve spiritual beauty in an empirical world, offering the most disturbing possibility of all: could art and the artist prove as fatal to the human spirit as empiricism....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne Rappaccini Essays] 3311 words
(9.5 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]