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Perversion Of Nature. Comparing The Ideal Of Science And Nature At The Time Rappaccini's Daughter Was Written By Nathaniel Hawthorne

1472 words - 6 pages

KresslMrs. EisenbergEnglish 285March 24, 2009The Perversion of NatureAncient days were hazy. Not much was known about the world. Science was still young and the universe so mysterious. All natural occurrences were attributed to some sort of Supernatural force and all human endeavors were to be acted through this force. There was the acceptance of man's limits and capabilities; the unhumble craving to eat from the Tree of Knowledge was not yet developed.Yet, as time passed, and a certain few dedicated towards the science toiled, technology increased. What was first thought to be impossible suddenly was a reality. Everything was now explained in Natural terms and the world became rational and logical on its own terms. Gone went any need for the Supernatural, and forgotten were the human's limits.The human could achieve anything, create anything, and discover anything with his intelligence, time, effort, and sacrifice. With this confidence, exponentially were things being achieved, created, and discovered, which did no more but add credence to the new scientific province. This was beneficial to society as the science was concentrated on applied science that was meant to enhance and better the lives of people, animals, and land.An unwanted byproduct did emerge, though, as the uncontrolled ego of the intellectual and ever more powerful scientist began to inflate. The power and sense of control began to direct their minds, personalities, and methods, as Nature was becoming an exhausted force that could be purged and abused as it served their domination. Everything was created by Nature as imperfect and defective and was to be manipulated and reformed by the hands of the cold scientist. Science was no longer the study of Nature but rather the manipulation of Nature.Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804, just one year after the Louisiana Purchase. He grew up with the American people wary of its virtues-was this expansion for the people's benefit, or just to add to the country's power? His childhood was then defined with the revolution of 1800, with extraordinary changes in the political, geographical, and technological fields. The conflict between exploring the unknown and imposing control on society led to redefinition of human rights, human Nature, limits, power, and obligation.In response to this Age of Enlightenment, the Romantic Movement arose, stressing American themes and acknowledging the importance of emotional influences over reason and science. Hawthorne wrote "Rappaccini's Daughter" to illustrate his view of how the worship of science and physicality would prove injurious to American society.Giovanni Guasconti is depicted as a shallow and vain man, yet also as a romantic. He views Nature as a force that is beautiful in it of itself-he is repulsed by the idea of Giacomo Rappaccini's predilection in manipulating it. He viewed the garden's artificialness as the "adultery of various vegetable species…no longer God's making, but the...

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