Essay On "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment" By Nathaniel Hawthorne, What Are Some Symbols That Are Used In The Story, Dr. Heideggar's Experiment?

535 words - 3 pages

In "Dr. Heidegger's Experiment," by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the magic book and dust are symbols that help illustrate Hawthorn's theme of how people should lock their past away and always work for the future. When the four guests drink the fountain of youth Dr. Heidegger is experimenting whether people have learned anything from their earlier years in life. Overall the reality of life will emerge and the choice of resisting or going with the flow will surface.One symbol is the magic book, which is the item that holds the powerful memories of Dr. Hawthorne from being discovered. For example, the "massive silver clasps" secure the book from being opened by temptation. This book is very important ...view middle of the document...

The book's memories were let loose when the doctor gave the pages light allowing the childhood memories to bloom in the mind once again. The book is linked to Dr. Heidegger's mind and when the massive clasps are unlatched, the mind of the Doctor begins to experience the stimulating joys of youth that he cherishes, but knows he should not try and physically re-experience.Another symbol is the dust that traps the sacred memories in the back of the mind. For example the "dim, old-fashioned chamber" has been "besprinkled with antique dust." Life has been settled down for a long time now as the author relates to the dust as being "antique dust". The dust has become obsolete and no longer in use meaning: the mind has allowed the memories to be on display, but never for actual use. In addition, the "chambermaid" lifted the book to "merely" "brush away the dust," uncovering lost memories, which were meant to be buried forever. Heidegger's memories, once uncovered become modern day use and not past anymore making him want to feel young again. The youth water is a potion that makes dreams come true that are formed when the dust is brushed away. The wiping of dust is like a smoker addicted to nicotine because the body cannot stand the withdrawal of being young and when youth comes back, happiness becomes out of reach. So the key to sanity is to avoid letting the dust over the mind be swept away by another, letting the leakage of youthful temptation begin.Well, time is disintegrating and life is passing by. The conflicts of the past have settled and old age has arrived. The only way to enjoy life now is to accept the ageing process with grace.

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