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Personification: Rappaccini’s Daughter
In “Rappaccini’s Daughter”, the fountain gurgles amidst the ruins. ‘Water cheerfully burbling from it’ (Rosenberry, 1990, p. 121). Water, being an inanimate feature, cannot express a feeling like cheerfulness. This, therefore, shows personification because as water is not a living being, it is still given the quality of a living thing. The fountain is misplaced as it is amidst ruins. Contrary to being alienated and placed in lifeless ruins, the fountain runs cheerfully. It has been personified to represent Beatrice. She is a beautiful, cheerful, and good-hearted lady who is misplaced since her father is the opposite of her character. This shows a social struggle because, under normal circumstances, when one is brought up under the corrupt influence, they turn out to be corrupt. The personification here is used to depict the uniqueness of such a situation, where one turns out better than they were brought up.
Personification: “The Veldt”
Personification can also be found in “The Veldt”, ‘this house which clothed and fed and rocked them to sleep and played and sang and was good to them’ (Bradbury, and Kelly, 1950, pp. 32). A house does not normally clothe, feed, or at the extreme rock someone to sleep. The house has been given the qualities of a good parent, provider, and nanny. It performs the duties that are normally reserved for humans. It is more humane than a house. This personification is used to emphasize the struggle that happens in the story. There is too much dependence on the house such that the parents neglect their duties.
Personification: Compare and contrast
In both literary works, the writers make use of personification. In “The Veldt”, it is used to illustrate perfection demonstrated by the house. In “Rappaccini’s Daughter”, it is used to bring out the purity Beatrice represents. In The Veldt, the nursery is personified as it is given the characteristics of being a parent, and it performs all the duties of the house. The house sounds too good to be true. The benefits that the nursery presents should not have negative characteristics. In the end, it is fatal to the parents since they end up being killed by their invention. In “Rappaccini’s Daughter”, the fountain gushes with life despite being in an isolated place, amongst ruins. The fountain depicts joy despite its depressing surrounding. Cheerfulness can only be expressed by living things, and not inanimate objects. This shows a struggle because the fountain represents Beatrice who is surrounded by evil, her father; but despite all that, she has grown to be a good-hearted lady.
Similes: “Rappaccini’s Daughter”
Similes are also used in the two literary works. In “Rappaccini’s Daughter”, “Here am I, my father! What would you?” cried a rich and youthful voice from the window of the opposite house; a voice as rich as a tropical sunset (Hawthorne, 2011). This is a simile because the voice is directly compared to the tropical sunset. The tropical sunset is a bittersweet moment where there is the beauty of palm trees, and the huge orange sun going down. On the other hand, there are approaching shadows of darkness, as the night sets in. This shows the contrast of the beautiful Beatrice, in the presence of a shadow, her father. The voice is directly likened to the beauty of the tropical sunset. The beautiful voice belongs to a flawed being. She is beautiful and kind, but she is lethal to the rest of the community. This shows a social struggle because; she turns out to be different from her father
Similes: “The Veldt”
In “The Veldt”, “cheeks like peppermint candy, eye like bright blue agate marbles” (Bradbury, 1950, p. 217). This is used to emphasize the beauty of the children which is skin deep. The children put on the mask of perfect children but in truth, they are not. At first sight, they are nice and obedient, but they are calculating and mean. In the end, they trap their parents into being killed. In another instance, George thinks, “The house was full of dead bodies, it seemed. It felt like a mechanical cemetery” (Bradbury, 1950, p. 262). This shows that the house is a source of dread to George since he compares it to a cemetery. There is a social struggle because; the parents are overwhelmed by their creation, which was initially made for comfort.
Similes: Compare and contrast
Similes have also been used in the two literary works to show a social struggle. In Rappaccini’s Daughter, the voice that is as beautiful as the tropical sunset is projected into a background that is fading into darkness. The voice is in a contrasting background, which is, the fading sun. The encroaching darkness is a representative of the father who is a shadow in the life of Beatrice, who has to turn out to be a nice lady. This shows that, as much as she is a nice person, she is burdened by having an imperfect father. Beatrice is overly sheltered, but she does not turn out like her father. She is still a nice person. This indicates a social struggle. Conversely, in The Veldt, the beauty of the children is not representative of their characters; this indicates a struggle because they would be taken to be good children which they are not. They become rebellious after they are abandoned by their parents, and left in the care of an automatic nanny. They kill their parents, in the end.
Culture and society
In “Rappaccini’s Daughter”, Hawthorne is inspired by his life with his mother and sisters. His father died when he was young and after that, he was brought up by his mother. He lived an isolated life although; his mother and sisters doted on him. These traits equate to Beatrice, who is not properly brought up and is sheltered too much by the father. In both, the book and the life of the author, there is some deficit in the mode of parenting. He, therefore, relates very well to this character, Beatrice. Her father doted on her, but she is still secluded from the world at large. She is lonely. Hawthorne had the same experience, despite his mother and sisters doting on him, he felt isolated (Hawthorne, 2011). The author tries to communicate that children should not be sheltered by their parents or guardians to the point of smothering. There should be more communication between children and their parents about what is best for the children to meet their needs and interests. Children should be provided with some degree of freedom, otherwise, they will have a feeling of being left out.
Ray Bradbury lived in an era where there was technological development. People were getting their first television sets, although they were black and white sets. He was wary of the effect technology would have on families. In “The Veldt”, he extrapolates that; technology would be detrimental to families. The family unit would be fragmented; nowadays many children are slaves to televisions and video games. This has resulted in detachment between parents and their children; hence, the children are abandoned to technology. This is why he was not supportive of technological advancement. The book, hence, illustrates his feeling on technology. The technology that was installed in the house ended up causing detriment to the parents (“Ray Bradbury Biography”, 2011).