man and woman looking at one another and the woman is filled with plants and vines that are creeping into the man's body

Rappaccini's Daughter

by Nathaniel Hawthorne
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One of the qualities of a Romantic story is an interest in the supernatural. In "Rappaccini's Daughter," how does Giovanni’s assessment of the plants in the garden, now that he’s standing in it, suggest the supernatural?

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When Giovanni examines the plants in the garden, he recognizes them as unnatural. He thinks that they're fierce as well. These aren't qualities that a person normally attributes to plants. It almost seems like they're warning him away from the garden that he's entered without Rappaccini's permission.

Giovanni thinks of...

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When Giovanni examines the plants in the garden, he recognizes them as unnatural. He thinks that they're fierce as well. These aren't qualities that a person normally attributes to plants. It almost seems like they're warning him away from the garden that he's entered without Rappaccini's permission.

Giovanni thinks of the shrubs as unearthly faces. It's almost like the garden is alive in a more personified way than it should be. As he wanders, it wraps around him and isolates him from the outside world.

Giovanni notices hybrids that have joined together in a way that God wouldn't have mixed them, according to Nathaniel Hawthorne. The hand of Rappaccini is everywhere and obvious in each of the plants. He even recognizes that some of the plants are poisonous. All of these things seem to be warning him that the garden is not natural and that it is not a safe place for him. However, he presses deeper into the garden because he is so excited at the idea of meeting Beatrice face-to-face.

When he does see her, his examination of the garden ends and he is focused on her. He can't know that, like the plants around them, she has been bred to be poisonous by her father.

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