Comparison of “The Birthmark” and “Rappaccini's Daughter”
Both in "Rappaccini's Daughter" and "The Birthmark" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the female characters are consistently built as paragons of perfection, beauty and grace only to be virgin at the end of each story, completely destroyed. Interestingly, while this may at first glance appears to be a pervasive theme of misogyny, this is not necessarily the case since the disappearance of the two central female characters, Beatrice and George, came about because of scientific interference of men.
At the beginning of each of these stories of Nathaniel Hawthorne, both women are presented as equal to physical beauty, and pure spirit. Not much, however, before his tragic flaws are revealed; poisonous presence and a small birthmark and from that point, the disappearance of these women and plucking, apart from its beauty passes through the actions of male characters that are looking for their purposes, that overall achievement scientific or love, or some strange combination of both. In other words, Hawthorne seems to be the presentation of an idea about scientific research, especially in regard to feminine beauty.
The image of Beatrice Rappaccini is like a flower that tends to, and even before the significance of this connection becomes quite clear, the narrator in the story of Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Rappaccini's Daughter" (complete list and graphic analysis here), "were the flower girl and different and yet the same, and full of danger, whether in a strange way" (Rappaccini, 1317). Like flowers in the garden of her father, Beatrice is beautiful, has a lovely scent, and even dressed to look like one, so much emphasis on its relationship with the garden. The narrator is careful to highlight his perfection, especially in the eyes of the beholder as Giovanni realizes how "She looked redundant with life, health and energy, all the attributes of which were bound and compressed, so to speak and tight with tension, in their luxuriance, by her virgin zone "
Interestingly, in the terms of this issue for women, science and history of Nathaniel Hawthorne, "Rappaccini's Daughter", it seems that although his father is the one who created her daughter to be toxic, however, As in the case of "Minister Black Veil" is not really the cause of death, but he loves the most, Giovanni. This topic has been explored by scholars who sought to examine this recurring pattern through this and other stories of Hawthorne, one of which says it is worrying, "the relationship of three men to a woman who, despite never deliberately damage to any of them, and though men profess to have acted in good, however, is destroyed by them "(Brenz, 155).
This victimization of female perfection itself in the hands of men (and, more specifically, science) is also present in "The Birthmark." In this story, as in "Rappaccini's Daughter" is a beautiful woman who is marred by an imperfection, but this is not as deadly for others. Also, like Beatrice, Georgiana is coveted because of its beauty and is seen as exotic and therefore desirable (Miller, ...