The Birthmark And Rappaccini's Daughter

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Genetically modifying food is a relatively new method of enhancing plants as genes are transferred between organisms. Once the desired gene is identified in the organism’s genome, it can be cut out, transferred to the target plant, and pasted into its genome. Many authors have written about scientists who attempt to transform nature and its entities. For example, in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” organisms are modified throughout the respective stories. Essentially, the modification of each individual in the two works results in detrimental effects such as death and poisoning caused by toxic substances. Therefore, Hawthorne portrays scientists in a negative manner, since they continually alter organisms without…show more content…
For example, Aylmer’s concoction results in the death of his wife, Georgiana, as Aylmer is unable to control nature. In reality, however, scientists partially alter the environment as genetically modified foods create a sustainable way to feed the world. According to “the Birthmark,” Aylmer “was so startled with the intense glow of the birthmark upon the whiteness of her cheek that he could not restrain a strong convulsive shudder. His wife fainted” (181). Essentially, Aylmer shivers at the appearance of the birthmark on Georgiana’s cheek. The imperfection seems to startle him as he hopes to cleanse Georgiana of the blemish. Thus, Hawthorne perceives scientists as individuals who are not content with earthly imperfections as they will strive for flawlessness to the point of insanity. When Georgiana dies due to Aylmer’s obsessive nature over the birthmark, Hawthorne demonstrates why scientists are unable to control nature. Aylmer’s insanity and desire for perfection lead to Georgiana’s death as his concoction cannot derail the laws of nature. This contradicts many articles as scientists are creating a sustainable method to feed the world by genetically modifying food. Not only is it cheaper to grow GMO’s, but larger yields can be produced resulting in a billion dollar industry. Hawthorne’s belief that scientists dangerously attempt to attain perfection is clearly…show more content…
By genetically modifying foods, scientists are able to create products with better nutritional values, flavors, and textures. As stated in “Genetically Modified Foods,” “Regular rice is not very nutritious, so scientists have genetically modified rice plants.” The modified plants produce proteins that give rice additional iron and vitamins. Essentially, there are many benefits when particular crops are altered, which strongly contradicts Hawthorne’s view of scientists. In both “The Birthmark” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter”, scientists attempt to control nature resulting in severe consequences. However, according to many sources individuals involved in biotechnology have produced crops with enhanced nutritional value and flavor. Throughout “Rappaccini’s Daughter,” it can be inferred that Rappaccini does not value human life and instead has a greater interest in his own experiments. According to Hawthorne, scientists show little warmth towards humans as Rappaccini poisons his daughter so she can
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