Nature and Nurture in Frankenstein and Rappaccini's Daughter Essay
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Nature and Nurture in Frankenstein and Rappaccini's Daughter
One of the most popular disputes in the history of philosophy regards whether nurture of a human being plays a more important role in the formation of its character than the genetic heritage that it bears. As a natural result, the dispute echoes in many literary works, not always directly, but sometimes taking the form of a pretext or a motif in a larger context. Such examples are "Frankenstein" by Marry Shelley and "Rappaccini's Daughter", by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Their authors relate the evolution of at least two characters, the monster and Beatrice, throughout both writings, with the way those characters were nurtured. Both authors use innocence as a common…show more content… Certain rumors spread into town characterize her as a highly educated young woman. We find evidence in that sense from Doctor Baglioni, another character in the story: "Rappaccini is said to have instructed her deeply in his science, and that, young and beautiful as fame reports her, she is already qualified to fill a professor's chair"(Hawthorne 878). But the truth is that, as she confesses later in the story, she knows nothing about the science of botany that her father is involved in; actually, she is only familiar with the flower's "hues and perfumes"( Hawthorne 883). She practically knows as much as a child of small age would; her education also lacks any form of interaction experience with the society. Hawthorne presents her father, Doctor Rappaccini, as her only companion of life. Her reason for isolation is related to her father's overprotective attitude towards his only child. Rappaccini raises her in the neighborhood of poisonous flowers, making her immune to them, but also transforming her into a source of poison. Beatrice is aware of the poison that she exudes; thus she becomes indirectly isolated from the rest of the world by her father. The deadly attribute Beatrice possesses places a social safeguarding wall around her.
The similarity between the monster's isolation and Beatrice's isolation is thus obvious. The two parents, Victor and Rappaccini, highly competent