Nathaniel Hawthorne Rappaccini's Daughter

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One of America’s major writers, Nathaniel Hawthorne, was born on July 4, 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts. His most notorious ancestor was John Hathorne, a judge at the Salem Witch trials in 1692, which adds to the understanding of the tragic fate present in Hawthorne’s short stories. The “w” in his last name, obviously not present in his ancestor’s, was not established until he began publishing. But in his childhood, Hawthorne injured his leg, leaving him immobile for a period of time, sparking his interest in reading and writing. Later on, Hawthorne went to Bowdoin College where he became friends with future president Franklin Pierce and eventually went on to graduate in 1825. Upon that accomplishment, he then spent twelve year’s in his mother’s …show more content…

The setting takes place with a young man named Giovanni Guasconti studying in the distant Padua, Italy in a gloomy chamber overlooking a beautiful garden inside an old mansion. Dr. Giacomo Rappaccini, a scientist, relinquishes the care of a poisonous plant to his gorgeous daughter Beatrice who immediately tends the plant. Giovanni, astonished by Beatrice’s beauty, sees her pluck one of the blossoms off the purple shrub killing a nearby lizard instantly, which leads to poisoning herself after rubbing the blossom all over her chest. Giovanni reacts in fear by fleeing into the streets until being overtaken by Signor Pietro Baglioni informing Giovanni that he is now the subject of one of Rappaccini’s experiments. Back at the mansion, an old woman named Lisabetta provokes Giovanni by showing him the secret entryway to the garden to be with his beloved Beatrice once more. Beatrice wishes Giovanni would see her purity and innocence instead of her presence of poison. Since Giovanni eventually spends a great amount of time in the garden with Beatrice, he too has become poisonous. Soon after, Baglioni finds Giovanni and convinces him to give Beatrice an antidote to cure her poison and make pure once again. Unfortunately, the antidote kills Beatrice. Now, lets dive into the specifics Hawthorne purposely implemented in this tragedy of events. The main theme conveyed by Hawthorne is corruption, which is defined as “wickedness, …show more content…

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