Rappaccini's Daughter Essay

Submitted By guyman1234
Words: 683
Pages: 3

1. Mr. Hawthorne sets the story in Padua, Italy, as a young man by the name of Giovanni Guasconti moves to a mansion there. Mr. Hawthorne describes the place as “a high and gloomy chamber of an old edifice…” Mr. Hawthorne also describes the mansion as looking “not unworthy to have been the palace of a Paduan noble, and which, in fact, exhibited over its entrance the armorial bearings of a family long since extinct.” Mr. Hawthorne succeeds in casting a dark and gloomy tone over the mansion. Mr. Hawthorne describes Rappaccini’s garden with a bright tone, but he places an underlying mood of danger along with the bright, cheery atmosphere.
2. The garden is set as a place far removed from the world, or even the city, in several ways. First, he describes the seclusion as created by Rappaccini himself through his extreme zeal for science. Thus, nobody would want to go there, for fear of being seduced into one of Rappaccini’s experiments. Secondly, Mr. Hawthorne describes the seclusion through Beatrice’s confinement, and how it is the only thing she’s ever known. Thirdly, due to Rappaccini’s specific study of poison, and the fact that most people have never seen his daughter, I think that some fear, or suspect, that she is just another test subject in his twisted science.
3. The reader could infer that the garden is much like the Garden of Eden. For one, it seems that Beatrice is like the Tree of Life in how she glows when Giovanni begins visiting with her, while the shrub with the jewel-like blossoms could be compared to the Tree of the Knowledge of good and evil in that it is as alluring and deadly as it is beautiful. Another inference could be made that Rappaccini is like the Adam of the garden, while Beatrice is like the Eve of the garden in that they both take intensive care of the garden. Yet another inference could be made that Giovanni is like an archetype of the serpent in that Giovanni came to the garden for neither good nor evil, while the serpent came to the Garden of Eden to do evil, which is good to him. Giovanni was accepted by Beatrice for good, while the serpent was rejected for his evil ways.
4. The shattered fountain represents inspiration, individualism, idealism, imagination, and all the things that represent hope. It represents inspiration in that it inspired Giovanni with its “immortality.” It represents individualism in that it is unique in the environment so affected by choices of others. It conveys idealism in that it survived even in disrepair, and it shows imagination in that its beauty is not