Rappaccini Daughter Analysis

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Dual Aspects of Good and Evil in Rappaccini’s Daughter “Hawthorne shows in the tale that the inner world of human experience is a complex and ambiguous mixture of good and evil (Stallman 2).” Hawthorne portrays that the existence of good and evil is part of life and that a person can make a decision which way to go. From the story, Hawthorne presents to the reader the character of Doctor Rappaccini, a scientist who experiments with poisonous plants and later on injects poison into his daughter Beatrice that to transform her into achieving superhuman qualities. The transformation of Beatrice as well as her lover, Giovanni into a poisonous being raises the question whether they are good or evil. In the novel “Rappaccini’s Daughter”, Nathaniel Hawthorne incorporates figurative language, descriptive details, and allusions to portray the dual aspects of good and evil in each character to convey to the audience that humans embody both goodness and evil. In “Rappaccini’s Daughter” the dual aspects of good and evil in humans are exemplified through the use of figurative language. In the story, Beatrice is described as a beautiful young lady. Hawthorne introduces Beatrice’s beauty to the audience through, “a sculptured portal the figure of a young girl, arrayed with as much richness of taste as the splendid of the flowers, beautiful as the day (3).” These positive traits of Beatrice are presented in order to express her goodness she is compared to flowers and day. In contrast to Beatrice being beautiful Beatrice is also poisonous. Author Roy R Male Jr. suggests that Beatrice is harmful, “The poison in her system-the token of her corruption brings death into the garden” (101). Beatrice is compared to death because creatures- lizard and b... ... middle of paper ... ...ng of life, and this signifies his good nature. By incorporating figurative language, descriptive details, and allusions Nathaniel Hawthorne demonstrates in “Rappaccini’s Daughter” that humans can embody the dual aspects of good and evil. Hawthorne proposes the universal truth that not only can mankind be seen one way but, also can be seen in another way. Hawthorne conveys this truth in each of the main characters Doctor Rappaccini, Beatrice, and Giovanni. Occasionally, though, Doctor Rappaccini may be viewed to have evil intentions. However, he can also be perceived in an opposite way as having positive intentions. For example in the story, Rappaccini is only trying to protect his daughter but his ways can be likened to a madman. Rappaccini’s purpose for his experiments can be perceived as either evil or good. Thus, mankind has dual aspects of good and evil.
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