Malevolence and Benevolence
The themes of malevolence and benevolence are depicted in the short stories Rappaccini’s Daughter, The Minister’s Black Veil and Young Goodman Brown by Nathaniel Hawthrone. In the short story Rappaccini’s Daughter, the theme of malevolence and benevolence are portrayed through the characters of Rappaccini, Professor Baglioni and Beatrice. Rappaccini is a scientist who uses her own daughter Beatrice for conducting experiments on poisonous plants.
His malevolence renders Beatrice’s touch poisonous and makes her to lead a lonely life.
Similarly Baglioni tricks Giovanni into giving an antidote to Beatrice which kills her, to ruin the experiment of his rival Rappaccini. “Just at that moment, Professor Pietro Baglioni looked forth from the window, and called loudly, in a tone of triumph mixed with horror, to the thunder-stricken man of science: “Rappaccini! Rappaccini! And is this the upshot of your experiment?
”(Hanthrone). Beatrice is benevolent who warns Giovanni about her poisonous touches and even sacrifices her life for her father’s experiment.
In the story The Minister’s Black Veil, Reverend Hooper represents benevolence whereas the black veil which he wears stands for malevolence. Hooper is benevolent minister who carries out his duties honestly. It is his black veil which reminds the people of the town about their malevolence and makes them to confess about their sins.
“Such were the terrors of the black veil, even when Death had bared his visage! ” (Hanthrone). In the short story Young Goodman Brown, theme of malevolence and benevolence is depicted in the thoughts of Goodman Brown and witches. Brown is a benevolent Christian who follows good values. He advises his wife to look towards heaven when he sees that the witches are enticing her to convert into a witch. “Look up to Heaven, and resist the Wicked One”.
On the other hand the witches in the forest represent malevolence as they claim that a man can achieve happiness through malevolence.
Works Cited Hawthrone, N. Rappaccini’s Daughter. Retrieved December 15, 2008 from http://www. shsu. edu/~eng_wpf/authors/Hawthorne/Rappaccini. htm Hawthrone, N. The Minister’s Black Veil. Retrieved December 15, 2008 from http://www. eldritchpress. org/nh/mbv. html Hawthrone, N. Young Goodman Brown. Retrieved December 15, 2008 from http://www. ibiblio. org/eldritch/nh/ygb. html
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