Mad Love: Science and Surveillance in Hawthorne’s …
it is “ not unusual for the love of science to ..
Doctor Rappaccini commits the unpardonableHawthornian sin by caring "infinitely more for science than for mankind."Like Young Goodman Brown, Giovanni is unable to accept the sexuality andsinfulness of Beatrice.
The Cambridge Introduction to Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Giovanni, the lover, is Hawthorne's most flawed male in "Rappaccini's daughter" because hislove is itself flawed. Described initially as a young man away from homefor college and ripe for heartbreak, Giovanni has his first glimpse into thegarden and becomes fascinated by the doctor, his daughter, and therelationships between the Rappaccinis and the plants of the garden, but we getno indication that he considers himself in love. Hawthorne mentions thatyoung Giovanni buys a bouquet of fresh flowers almost as an aside, and whenGiovanni throws the flowers to Beatrice as a tribute, he does it withoutthinking, "scarcely knowing what he did" (1292). He is characterized as a man of "quick fancy" without the subsequent deepemotions, and Hawthorne describes Giovanni's feelings toward Beatrice in termsof opposites, using words and phrases not usually associated with heroic lovelike "a fierce and subtle poison," "a madness" and"love and horror." When faced with evidence (the incidents withthe lizard, the butterfly, and the wilting bouquet) and tales of Beatrice'spoisonous nature, he begins to doubt the truth of his love fairly quickly, andhe fluctuates between ardent love and distrust until he realizes the extent ofRappaccini's experiment and blames Beatrice for his now poisonous body.