The story “ Rappaccini’s Daughter” shows that there is corruption in the world, Beatrice is the only innocent person portrayed in the story. Almost all the characters in the story are corrupt. From Giovanni showing his love, but in reality being infatuated with Beatrice, to Rappaccini committing the biggest sin, which is pride. Everyone is guilty of corruption in the story except for Beatrice. Giovanni lives in an apartment overlooking Rappaccini’s garden and makes the acquaintance of the doctor’s daughter, whose beauty and mysterious qualities fascinate him.
As Giovanni looks for Beatrice everyday by his window he bares witness to her dangerous powers. “ Be that as it might, he fancied that while Beatrice was gazing at the insect with childish delight, it grew faint and fell at her feet; — its bright wings shivered; it was dead—from no cause that he could discern, unless it were the atmosphere of her breath. ”(pp. 6) He is shown that she is abnormal, but he still persists on meeting her face to face despite what he has seen.
Giovanni finally gets to meet her and they both become attracted to each other in a way that they start to fall in love with each other. But in reality, only Beatrice is the true lover between them both. As the story goes on Giovanni becomes poisoned similar to Beatrice. As a result Professor Baglioni reveals Giovanni an antidote for the poison that has consumed both Giovanni and Beatrice’s bodies. One might ponder if one loves another truly then why wouldn’t they accept each other for who they are.
But instead Giovanni curses Beatrice, “Accursed one! Cried he, with venomous scorn and anger. And finding thy solitude wearisome, thou hast severed me, likewise, from all the warmth of life, and enticed me into thy region of unspeakable horror… thou hast filled my veins with poison! Thou hast made me as hateful, as ugly, as loathsome and deadly a creature as thyself- a world’s wonder of hideous monstrosity! Now- if our breath be happily as fatal to ourselves as to all others-let us join our lips in one kiss of unutterable hatred, and so die! (pp. 16) This shows that the real poison is in his heart. He shows lack of faith in her because he believes that she is the one that purposefully poisoned him. His outrage suggests that he was only infatuated with her. When things go right, he loves her with all his heart, but when things go wrong, he takes back his love and shows hate. Giovanni is corrupt because he fools her into loving one another, but in reality he sees her nothing more as someone he want to be with for awhile. Another character that is corrupt is Professor Baglioni.
Some might say he is the most corrupt person in the whole story. For example he provides a phial of liquid that he says will restore Beatrice to normal. Instead, it kills her. It is seen that he provides the phial of liquid to Giovanni to get rig of the poison that has consumed him, but other evidence suggests that there was a master plan involved. Baglioni gave the liquid to Giovanni knowing that he would give it to Beatrice to get rid of the poison. He knew that it would kill her and he did it because of revenge and the ambition he had towards Rappaccini.
He has been competing with Rappaccini for recognition as the best physician in Italy, as he says when he tells Giovanni,” The truth is, our worshipful Doctor Rappaccini has as much science as any member of the faculty- with perhaps one single exception…”(pp. 4) That exception is Baglioni because him and Rappaccini are rivals. As it says, “ had he known that there was a professional warfare of long continuance between him and Doctor Rappaccini, in which the latter was generally thought to have gained the advantage. ”(pp. ) It is shown here that there was a motive to give Giovanni that liquid so that he can poison Beatrice to get back at Rappaccini. What makes this all clear is in the end of the story after Beatrice dies, Baglioni peers down from the window and “ in a tone of triumph mixed with horror, to the thunder-stricken man of science: Rappaccini! Rappaccini! And is this the upshot of your experiments? ”(pp. 18) I believe that professor Baglioni was corrupt because he wanted revenge for Rappaccini’s success and so he used Giovanni to kill Beatrice to get back at Rappaccini.
Doctor Rappaccini has his faults, but a major one is his love for science over his own daughter. People might argue that he used his daughter as an experiment to get her poisoned to protect her from the evil world that he new, but why would he rid her of the good things in life? Yes she has the power to kill anything by just breathing on it or even standing by it, but with great power comes great sorrow for a young beautiful girl. She will never know how to love someone and she will never see the beauty that bestows outside the walls of her house.
Even when Giovanni took interest in her his corrupt heart betrayed her and she died without knowing true love. This is not the only evil doings he has done. He used old Lisabetta to show Giovanni how to get into the garden “ secretly” to be with Beatrice. He like Professor Beglioni had a master plan. He built this evil garden to make a life for his Beatice, but realized that she was lonely so he reeled Giovanni using Lisabetta as an accomplice. Rappaccini had knowledge of the danger Giovanni was getting into, but he still let him get exposed to the poison.
He basically used Giovanni as one of his experiments to be a mate to Beatrice while putting aside Giovanni’s knowledge of the poison that soon consumed him and left him similar to Beatrice. Because he turned Beatrice into a poisonous being, she grew ignorance of the world outside her walls and her lack of contact with people have made her into a child in a way that she was cut short of cultural and social growth. Beatrice is the only pure soul in this story. Even though she had a terrible curse, she was the only innocent person. She symbolizes purity and goodness. Though her father has corrupted her body with poisons, her soul remains pure.