Rappaccini’s Daughter Short Summary
The short story Rappaccini’s daughter is from the author Nathaniel Hawthorne. It was published in 1844 in a newspaper but later taken to be part of a collection in 1846. It is the story of a certain Medical researcher called Giacomo Rappachini who grows poisonous plants in the garden.
A Quick View of the Plot
In the city of Padua in Italy, some time ago, Giovanni Guasconti is renting an apartment during his time at university. From Giovanni’s room, he can see Beatrice, who is the daughter of Giacomo Rappaccini. Rappaccinni is a quiet man who loves isolation. His daughter is normally restricted to the garden where she is visible from Guasconti’s window. Guasconti is learning under Dr. Pietro, who is a professor of medicine. He is told that Rappaccini is a brilliant man of science, but he is heartless, and his love for science outmatches any care he has for other human beings.
Beatrice is mostly in that garden, always taking care of the plants. She is diligent at her task and finds some intimacy with them. Guasconti watches her a lot and falls for her. However, he begins to notice that flowers are dying when she was near, and an insect touched her skin and died too. He had thrown a bouquet to her and when she picked it up but the flowers withered.
Guasconti offers payment to the housekeeper to reveal to him a hidden path to this garden. He makes his way and meets Beatrice. Guasconti realizes that she is more beautiful from up close. They start meeting frequently, and Guasconti falls for Beatrice even more. Soon he starts realizing that as he becomes a frequent visitor of the garden, he is turning into poison too. Plants were dying when he held them.
He goes to Baglioni to get some answers. Baglioni tells him that Beatrice might be luring him into a trap. Giovanni reacts very angrily. Baglioni gives Giovanni a potion and tells him that it will be able to cure Beatrice if she drank it.
Giovanni confronts Beatrice about her motives. She is surprised and pleads that her intentions were pure. She even drinks the vial that contained the antidote. Her father arrives almost immediately. He reveals that since she is not alone anymore and in a relationship, she should consummate it by placing a petal on Giovani’s chest. However, Beatrice is dying. The antidote killed her instead of curing her. Baglioni arrives, horrified but also feeling triumphant.