Mika Hulley. English. February 6, 2017. . Literary Analysis

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Mika Hulley
February 6, 2017

Literary Analysis of “Dr Heidegger’s Experiment”

In the short story “Dr. Heidegger’s Experiment” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, there is a great deal of literary elements used to enhance the story. For example, imagery is used to draw the reader 's attention further into the story by having them see it happening in their head and allegory is used to pull the reader away from the story by referencing things that happened somewhere else. While these two literary elements are both used to magnify different parts of the story, as well as counterbalance each other, the literary device that this essay will be focused on is symbolism. While it appears in many parts of the story one of the most obvious uses of
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Nathaniel Hawthorne introduces him by stating that he “had wasted his best years, and his health and substance, in the pursuit of sinful pleasures.” So what immoral acts did he commit? It is never outrightly stated but through his actions the reader can assume that in his prime he chased after women like some people chase after their dreams and after he got tired of running, he used alcohol to rehydrate. Due to these characteristics the Colonel represents lust. Immediately after the fountain water takes its effect on the group, Colonel Killigrew turns his attention to the female potion drinker. After ogling at her he remarks “My dear widow, you are charming!” It is stated that all of the men once pined for her but their newfound youth gives them a newfound strength and also helps them to forget everything they learned by growing old. A fight erupts over who will win the lady’s favor. The fight soon ends with no winner but it does not really matter because the men were only fighting due to their characteristics of greed, lust, and arrogance.

The next visitor to be described was a Mr. Gascoigne. It is said that “Mr. Gascoigne was a ruined politician, a man of evil fame.” Following the initial disbelief, he drank the water from the fountain of youth and found that it brought back the body, mind, and beliefs of his younger self. While he did spend a few moments looking at the newly transformed female guest, he almost immediately turned
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