Microcosm And Allusions In Rappaccini's Daughter By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Microcosm and allusion are both exceedingly important in writing even today, and Nathaniel Hawthorne was able to execute this greatly in many of his short stories. In this essay we will be focussing on two of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short stories, “Rappaccini’s Daughter” and “The Birth-Mark”, in which there is a multitude of examples of both microcosm and allusions.
In “Rappaccini’s Daughter” the main microcosm is that Rappaccini’s garden represents the garden of Eden. Nathaniel Hawthorne presents this both literally and figuratively within the text. While Giovanni looks down from the terrace, he wonders if “this garden was the Eden of the present world” (Rappaccini’s 2). When Giovanni first sees Rappaccini, he is confused because of Rappaccini’s demeanor near the plants, he acts as though the plants, if touched or inhaled, “ would wreak upon him some terrible fatality” like the serpents in Eden ( Rappaccini 2).
While the garden of Eden is the main representative in “Rappaccini’s Garden”, ignorance is the main microcosm in “The Birth-Mark.” Although Georgiana is hesitant to remove her
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Beatrice is often referred to as an Eve-like figure because of her pure heart and soul; she is also considered and Eve-like figure because it was evident “her experience of life had been confined within the limits of that garden” as had Eve’s life before being convinced to eat the fruit (Rappaccini 11). Giovanni is commonly referred to as the Adam of the situation because he is transfixed with Beatrice and is convinced to go into the garden, even though he knows he shouldn’t. Rappaccini is evidently the God in this because of his alterations to nature and his daughter. All the while, his scientific rival, Baglioni, could be considered the serpent for his manipulation in Giovanni and Beatrice’s relationship and for his indirect manipulation of Beatrice to drink the

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