Symbols And Symbolism In Nathaniel Hawthorne's Rappaccini's Daughter

858 words - 4 pages

The Use of Symbolism in Nathaniel Hawthorne's Rappaccini's Daughter

Nathaniel Hawthorne's Rappaccini's Daughter is perhaps the most complex and difficult of all Hawthornes short stories, but also the greatest. Nathaniel Hawthorne as a poet, has been characterized as a man of low emotional pressure who adopted throughout his entire life the role of an observer. He was always able to record what he felt with remarkable words but he lacked force and energy. Hawthorne's personal problem was his sense of isolation. He thought of isolation as the root of all evil. Therefore, he made evil the theme of many of his stories. Hawthorne's sense of the true human included ...view middle of the document...

Its setting is a fantastic garden filled with vegetation and poisonous flowers and in the center is a broken fountain. Hawthorne's focus is on Beatrice as she is seen by Giovanni. Hawthorne presents a trapped and poisonous Beatrice who needs a special kind of redemption. She is a prisoner in the garden and her body is full of poison. Her spirit belongs to God and she craves love daily. By chance, Giovanni becomes the role of rescuer to Beatrice. When Beatrice first sees him in the garden, looked up to his window and saw him she began to like him. Giovanni then throws down a bouquet a flowers he has bought shortly before. But, Giovanni does not know the secret of her poisonous garden world. When Beatrice finally does explain the truth of her situation, Giovanni betrays his heart one final time. Rappaccini has created the poisonous garden and made his daughter poisonous so that she can live in it. This is a production no longer of God's making but the offspring of an evil man. This garden is his world , though its poison would be fatal to him, too. Rappaccini tells Beatrice she has subtly filtered poison into Giovanni's system. He is said to have "produced new varieties of poison, more horrible deleterious than Nature" (Lauter 2241). Rappuccini made her poisonous to protect her from the evils of the world. He has poisoned Giovanni to give her a companion in this twisted world that she is having to live in. Beatrice is declared an angel but, her physical poisonous is never denied.

Rappuccini definitely cares more for...

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