Compare and Contrast: Dr. Heidigger vs. Colonel Killigrew

Topics: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Short story, Male Pages: 3 (905 words) Published: January 9, 2007
Nathaniel Hawthorne's writing, specifically "Dr. Heidigger's Experiment" all of his protagonists are overly-intellectual male characters that are assisted by female characters. Colonel Killigrew and Dr. Heidigger perfectly represent two of Hawthorne's overly-intellectual male characters; they react differently towards the water, have their own personality and have made past and present mistakes that have influenced their lives.

Colonel Killigrew has a different reaction to the water because of one reason, he tried the water and Dr. Heidigger just watched while Killigrew, Medbourne, Wycherly and Gascoigne drink the water from the Fountain of Youth. Colonel Killigrew was very eager to have a second glass of water for the obvious reason of feeling youthful again. He begins to flirt with Widow Wycherly with the line of, "My dear widow, you are charming." (Hawthorne 2) later he asks her for a dance and gets into a fight with the other gentleman, excluding Dr. Heidigger. While everyone was doing their own event; Medbourne creating a wonderfully ludicrous marketing idea involving whales and ice blocks to the East Indies (Hawthorne 2), Wycherly staring into the mirror admiring herself and her young beauty and age (Hawthorne 2) and Gascoigne thinking only of politics (for he was a former politician) (Hawthorne 2) and finally you have Killigrew singing a jolly battle song and ring his glass with the chorus to the song while he was staring at Wycherly. Killigrew ended up taking a pilgrimage to Florida with the four others to search for the Fountain of Youth. Dr. Heidigger very distinctly said that he would never partake in the drinking of the water, "…I would not bathe my lips in it [the water] – no, though its delirium were for years instead of moments. Such is the lesson ye have taught me!" (Hawthorne 5) Dr. Heidigger screwed up with this experiment by tricking his friends.

Dr. Heidigger has made many past mistakes and present mistakes in his life including...

Cited: Hawthorne, Nathaniel. Dr. Heidigger 's Experiment .Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1989
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