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. This boom led to extensive debates on science and religion. There was the argument of whether or not to let things happen naturally or to interfere with the processes of nature. It begins with a student, Giovanni Guasconti, who comes to the University of Padua to "pursue his studies" (Hawthorne 45) but falls in love with Beatrice, the daughter of a very famous botanist Dr. Rappaccini who cultivates a poisonous garden. Despite the fact that Giovanni Guasconti had "but a scanty supply of gold ducats in his pocket, he took lodgings in a high and gloomy chamber... [fit] to have been the palace of a Paduan noble" (Hawthorne 45). This been "the first time he was out of his native sphere,... [Giovanni] was unused to Padua and missed Naples and the cheerful sunshine of Southern Italy" (Hawthorne 46). Giovanni portrays the generation in search of knowledge. "Beneath his window [was] a garden [consisting] of a variety of plants which seemed to have been cultivated with exceeding care" (Hawthorne 46).
Strategically located in the center of the garden was "the ruin of a marble fountain...[whose] water continued to gush and sparkle into the sunbeams as cheerful as ever" (Hawthorne 46) just as "[Beatrice's] sp...
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... "The myth of the Garden: Nathaniel Hawthorne's 'Rappaccini's Daughter'". Studies in the Literary Imagination II, 1969, (pp. 3-12)
Evans, Oliver "Allegory and Incest in 'Rappaccini's Daughter'" 19th Century Fiction" Vol. 19, 1964, (pp. 185-195)
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Hawthorne, Nathaniel "The House of Seven Gables" (1851)
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Hawthorne, Nathaniel "The Marble Faun" (1859-60)
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Hawthorne, Nathaniel "Rappaccini's Daughter" "American Short Stories" (1820 to the present).
Jones, Madison "Short Story Criticism" Vol. 3 1989 (pp. 191-193)
Kloeckner, Alfred "The flower and the Fountain: Hawthorne's chief symbols in 'Rappaccini's Daughter'" "American Literature" Vol. 38, 1966-67 (pp323 -331)
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