Rappaccini's Daugher and the Garden of Eden

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"Rappaccini's Daughter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne is filled with many religious ideals pertaining to Hawthorne's beliefs in science going too far. He also has many synchronous themes to the Bible's Garden of Eden; however, to the opposite effect. Characters are paralleled, as well as plot events; the landmark setting of the Bible's Genesis are even imitated by Rappaccini's garden. The garden is very artificial and dangerous, the opposite of God's comforting and heavenly Eden. The story has a theme of one large battle between Good and Evil, Science and God, and Man versus Man.

Rappaccini's garden is very much the polar opposite of the Garden of Eden. While Eden is said to be heavenly, and full of innocence and goodness, the garden Rappaccini creates through science is evil, and infecting. Each scene has a Good and Bad, God and Devil. Eden has God as the ultimate bearer of good, whereas the other has Rappaccini as the ultimate bearer of evil through science. Rappaccini shows strong resemblance to the devil himself in just his appearance. In the story, the scientist is described as, "tall, emaciated, sallow,...and dressed in a scholar's garb of black."(63) Satan is thought of as ugly, and resembling death itself. In almost all instances, the devil is associated with the color black. These things bring us to believe that Rappaccini himself is like the devil in one way or another. Both gardens have some form of the opposite deity in them. In Eden, it is Satan in the form of a snake luring Eve to eat from the Tree of Knowledge. In Rappaccini's garden, God is represented by Signor Baglioni, who advises Giovanni to do the moral thing, and stay out of the evil garden. Both gardens revolve around a centerpiece. In Eden, the center of the garden is the Tree of Knowledge, which is an ultimate source of good, but with limitations. The tree's fruit should not be eaten, which is a temptation. Eve is shown as the temptress, who lures Adam into eating fruit from the tree....
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