In-class Essay on "Rappaccini's Daughter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Essay by meganmezHigh School, 11th gradeA, October 2004

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I believe that the values of the author are embodied in the character of Signor Pietro Baglioni. The author uses this character to foreshadow the outcome of the story and as a mysterious informative. Baglioni at the beginning of the story informs us of Dr. Giacomo Rappaccini's strange and twisted scientific efforts.

On page three, first new paragraph of the second column, Hawthorne sets a tone of importance to what is going to be said by Baglioni. The fourth and fifth sentences suggest that Giovanni takes advantage of his current surroundings to inquire about Rappaccini and is going to be answered in a much different way than he had thought; to quote, "... the professor did not respond with so much cordiality as he had anticipated." This leads to the reader getting the impression that the words of the professor that they are about to read are significant in the advancement of the plot.

With this, Hawthorne leads us in the direction of taking Giovanni's side by using a very respected and informative character to give us certain information to incline the reader towards this position.

Hawthorne's choice to lead the reader to side with Giovanni leads us to see a theme directed towards abuse of power. The theme of "Rappaccini's Daughter" is how the abuse of power or authority can lead to a greater evil. The story being written from Giovanni's perspective gives us a unique view on the evils preformed by Rappaccini upon his daughter Beatrice. The perspective of the story makes the ending much more severe for the reader and greatly exemplifies the point and theme Hawthorne is trying to illustrate.

To conclude, I believe that Hawthorne's work "Rappaccini's Daughter" is a masterpiece display of a very important theme revolving solely...