The Birthmark and Rapacinni’s Daughter





The Birthmark and Rapacinni’s Daughter

These two pieces of literature are publications of Nathaniel Hawthorne and consists of several similarities and differences in terms of themes and symbolism. To start with, the author uses females to depict faultlessness and splendor. However, this physical attractiveness does not last for long since the scientific skills of the male characters demote their superiority by highlighting their flaws. The peculiar combination of scientific curiosity and femininity makes the two books interesting with their themes concurring with the personal ideologies of the novelist.

Nathaniel Hawthorne is a famous writer who uses various stylistic devices to develop his creations. His main tactic is the philosophy of compound connotations through paradox, uncertainty, and satire. For instance, in The Birthmark, the author uses contradiction as a technique to describe the risk-free birthmark whose removal results in the death of Georgiana. Ambiguity is also evident in various sections of the story. For example, at the beginning of the piece, Georgiana considers the birthmark as attractive. Later on, she confesses that it is a revolting mark that diminishes her beauty.

In Rappaccini’s Daughter, the affection evident between Beatrice and Rappaccini turns into a quarrel when she accuses him of causing misery in her life. These events demonstrate the similarities of the two stories. Consequently, Nathaniel discusses the imperfections of human beings by use of different characters and storylines. These flaws are either tangible or intangible and they both affect an individual as well as his or her relationships with other people. As the author indicates in these two pieces of literature, one can choose to consider this aspect in a positive or negative manner.

In The Birthmark, Nathaniel uses Georgiana and Aylmer to represent this ideology. As is the nature of human beings, Aylmer hardly appreciates the gift of a good-looking wife who loves him indefinitely. He tells her that the birthmark on her arm is a defect that compromises the perfect hand of nature. He is ready to make use of his scientific skills in order to get rid of this spot on his wife’s body. According to this argument, human beings tend to focus on negligible aspects considered by the society as flaws. Subsequently, people jeopardize important elements of their lives or those of close friends and family members.

Likewise, in Rappaccini’s Daughter, Rappaccino is so passionate about scientific philosophies that he tries to use these skills to improve his relationship with his daughter. According to him, provision of various gifts may strengthen their relation. Consequently, he gets angry when Beatrice is not appreciative of his efforts. According to his daughter, his determination to perfect her life and their relationship is the cause of her misery. The author uses this scenario to show the adverse effects of human beings’ limitations and the outcome of certain social norms.

Nathaniel Hawthorne also shows the good and wicked sides of humankind. According to the discussions in these passages, one’s actions have repercussions that not only affect his or her individuality but also have effects on other members of the society. In The Birthmark, Aylmer loves his wife and is willing to express his affection in any manner. It is for this reason that he tries to offer her the decisive gift of faultlessness by eliminating the spot on her arm. Despite his good intentions, his demand for perfect women propels him to engage in activities that lead to the death of his wife. Moreover, his passion for science overrides the respect for human life as well as love for his wife.

Additionally, the writer addresses the same subject matter in Rappaccini’s Daughter. Rappaccini constantly manipulates Beatrice and Giovanni. Owing to his immense love for scientific ideologies, Rappaccini feeds his daughter with harmful foodstuffs as a way of conducting various experiments. This practice shows his evil personality since his zeal for science overrides the love he has for Beatrice. However, his compassionate nature is evident when he presents several gifts to Beatrice as a way of strengthening their relationship and improving her life.

Based on the arguments in these two books, it is evident that Nathaniel Hawthorne understands the existence of flaws in every human being and the outcomes that may arise from specific actions regarding the imperfections. For instance, he shows how the passion for scientific philosophies by Aylmer and Rappaccini results in the demise of Georgiana and Beatrice respectively. As illustrated in the passages, the inability of the male characters to accept the physical faults of their relations has adverse effects, which are avoidable.

In conclusion, the storylines and characters of the two manuscripts indicate significant difference yet concur with specific themes. With practical symbolism to describe the nature of humankind in addition to his personal opinions, Nathaniel Hawthorne presents persuasive pieces that attract the attention of the audience. The main principle addressed in both works is the need to embrace one’s imperfections through appreciation of personal flaws as unique features. Similar to the uncertainty evident in the two passages, the perception of certain occurrences is influential in one’s life.



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