The Subject of Love in Hawthorne's Rappaccini's Daughter

The Subject of Love in Hawthorne's Rappaccini's Daughter

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The Subject of Love in Hawthorne's Rappaccini's Daughter


Many spend their entire life looking for true love. It is that one love between a man and a woman that spurred spin-off stories of every kind for us to watch on TV or to read in books. Rappaccini's Daughter is a perfect example of this age old search for an inner peace, believed only to be found in a relationship with that "perfect" person. Giovanni sought this peace and believed he had found the one for him. Unfortunately, Giovanni was only led into disappointment after overcoming the obstacles that were in his was and then losing her after the fact. All of this leaves a question to be abswered; is it better to have love and lost than to have never loved at all?

Giovanni felt a need to seek love in his life, only to find a young lady that inded caused him to seek her out. This young lady was of course Dr. Rappaccini's daughter, Beatrice, whom Giovanni first saw in the garden below from his window. This was only the beginning of the always painstakingly brutal process that two people encounter as they start on their journey toward the actual "in love" stage. Fortunatley for Giovanni, Beatrice did take a special interest in him.

Beatrice came from a rather background. Her father had raised her as one of his many experiments. The downfall to this was the fact that she was a walking, talking poisonous flower created by Rappaccini, just like his other poisonous plants. Giovanni did not know this however. It was without this knowledge that he pursued her and they became well acquainted to each other. It would not be until later that Giovanni would find out this truth that few knew about.

Giovanni was overwhelmed with this relationship that he had acquired with Beatrice. Their lives had almost come to the point of living and "breathing" each other. This is actually one of the first clues to Beatrice's lifelong handicap. It is her breath Giovanni notices that has such a sweet aroma to it, just as sweet as that of the aroma released from one of her father's plants. Giovanni had also noticed, the first day he peered into the garden, that Beatrice had touched and sniffed of all the plants which her father was so careful not to get close to or touch.

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The only thing I saw as an explanation to Giovanni reasoning for not being bothered by these hints was the fact he was so overwhelmed with affection for Beatrice. I got the sense that Giovanni did start to wonder if something was up when Hawthorne let the reader in on the fact that she would not let Giovanni get too close to her. The true giveaway was when Giovanni was about to touch one of the many deadly plants in the garden and Beatrice, for the first time, touched Giovanni to keep him from touching it.It was shortly after this incident that Giovanni found his hand turning purple in the shape of the handprint that Beatrice had layed on him.

Throughout all of these occurences, Giovanni feels as though he is truly in love with Beatrice. He does not get caught up in these small details that would warn most away from a relationship. They enjoyed afternoons togetherin the garden and she was all he could think about all day long at work. For Beatice, this was the first outside acquaintence she had beenable to make other than that of her father. This being that first relationship, she gave her all where possible.

All was going well for young Giovanni until he ran into his father's friend, Professor Baglioni. The Professor knew of the Rappaccini secret and let Giovanni in on it's truths. Giovanni became defensive and after realizing the truth, took a potion that was to cure Beatrice of her awful handicap. This brought much happiness to Giovannibecause he knew now he could be with her as true soulmates would be and his mysteries of their relationship were finally answered.

They would not be together as it turns out. Giovanni first confronted Beatrice about the truth bringing upon a small fight. She wanted the potion when she learned of it and drank it. It was after she took it that her father entered the garden and told Giovanni and Beatrice they could now be together because Giovanni had also been given the handicap Beatrice had had all along. Just after learning this, the potion did not cure Beatrice but took her life.

It is at this point the reader could ask, after recalling this plot summary, was it better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all? At the very moment of the occurrence, Giovanni could have possibly taken either side of this question.The thing he must face now is that he is in the same shoes Beatrice was in all her life. He was very angry when he confronted her about it, taking a stance that she had been very selfish in trying to pull him in. It is now at this point that he will see life as she did.

This gives me planty of reason to form the opinion that he was better to have loved and lost, because it was he that tried to change her, and it is through this change that they were actually torn apart. They did have planty of happy memories together and an outlook to take is that it was better to be happy with someone orthan without.

The reason I felt a need to take this standpoint on this paper may have been more personal than I had realized at first. Just over a month ago, I lost that love, a love that I had by my side for three and a half years. The reason may not be important to this paper, but my opinion may be. To do over again, I would not change a thing. To me, it was better to have loved and lost, and I feel that Giovanni, although probably angry and I'm sure hurt, would probably come to the same conclusion.

This paper is the first time I have truly dealt with this question and I'm thankful for the opportunity to do so.
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