In the introduction of the story, Nathaniel Hawthorne describes himself as a writer trapped between two worlds. His alias, Aubepine, presents abstract concepts that would challenge the simple mind, but compensates for this by designing a dual meaning. His works contain the literal meaning, and the implicated meaning. Often, he would have to sacrifice his initial concept by injecting humor or other banal dimensions to the story in order to satisfy the lesser audience. In this story, a young man from Southern Italy becomes implicated in a scientist's bizarre practice. Rappaccini sacrifices his daughter's life in the name of science. His means would resemble black magic in a different timeframe, which trespass the boundaries that man is ideally confined to.
Beatrice is the unfortunate and unwilling subject of her father's experiment. The daughter's name is an allusion to Dante's guide in Heaven, and his wife in real life. In the prelapsarian part of this story, the woman grows to know Giovanni ...
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- 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]
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