Comparing Rappaccini's Daughter and the Movie, (Film) The Truman Show
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Rappaccini's Daughter and the Movie, (Film) The Truman Show
There are stunning parallels between Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Rappaccini's Daughter" and the film The Truman Show in terms of character, action, and structure.
The basic premise of the two plots is the same. Both stories deal with the capture of a young person who is to be groomed to live in a private, controlled environment to make them happy, but where they are never able to leave.
In "Rappaccini's Daughter," this role is fulfilled by Beatrice, whose father creates her own personal Edenic garden, from which she can never escape. In The Truman Show, this is Truman's role. A corporation adopts him before he is born, televises his birth, and televises his entire life. He literally lives in a bubble, designed especially for the show featuring him.
Both stories feature a father figure who creates the action and attempts to play God.
Both The Truman Show and "Rappaccini's Daughter" have the same general plot structure. At the start of the action, the little world created for the main character is portrayed as a perfect place without drawbacks. In Truman's town, everything works well, like clockwork, and everyone is happy. Everything is ideal. Rappaccini's garden is a beautiful place, where all of the flowers are harmonious and the Beatrice is very happy. Giovanni is enchanted by the garden; he feels that Beatrice and her garden are perfect.
This initial stage is followed by a realization of loneliness. Truman reaches out to the girl at college whom he sees at events, but with whom he is never able to speak because, subconsciously, he realizes that she is more substantive, and as we — the omniscient viewer — learn, she is a window to the reality. Truman longs for reality, although he does not know it. He only knows that he is not totally happy in "paradise." She is a
contrast to the girl he is supposed to, and does marry, because the girl is as real as his wife is fabricated. Truman subconsciously recognises this.
Beatrice recognizes on a conscious level that she really does like human company, after many years of depravation of it.