Opening with the character Giovanni Guasconti, the story was developed introducing its characters through what they have or can have, such as the description of Giovanni as having a scanty supply of gold ducats and having to lodge in a high and gloomy chamber. Then, Dr. Giacomo Rapaccini and his daughter, too, had a preamble about their garden which had seen glorious days through its now ruined sculpture. Likewise, the written story uses metaphor and rich descriptions that the main character Giovanni likens to for every object or action that is introduced, from flowers to insects, and characters such as Professor Pietro Baglioni.
The story progressed to showing a mysterious doctor-scientist, with a lovely daughter who was herself an experiment, therefore a victim of her own father’s macabre, yet almost maniacal dedication to his botanic garden and the poisons of its plants and flowers. The reader is made to wonder as how Giovanni would take on what has been presented to him: a deadly young woman who acts and looks innocent. What more, Giovanni has started to be enchanted with the young woman. The reader is led to get a grip of the whole story, alluring as it is mysterious and quite advanced in its time as it dwells on bio-technology.
The plot is thick as mystery about how Dr. Rappaccini came about creating antidote is intertwined with the development of relationship between Beatrize and Giovanni. In Twice Told Tales (1963) directed by Sidney Salkow, 3 horror stories based on the writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne, “Rappaccini’s Daughter” showed a demented father inoculating his daughter with poison so she may never leave her garden of poisonous plants with the film described as, having “…fine technical elements–the sets, costumes, cinematography, lighting, music and so on–help draw one in to the proceedings,” (Sponseller, 2007).
It has also been noted to be Hawthorne’s early science-fiction tale intertwined with strong moral subtexts. Questionable ethical decisions were made with the aim of preserving what may be considered as purity and much more ethical such as the case of Beatrize and Dr. Rappaccini. The film’s focus on the horror element added depth to the lack of metaphorical ways to justify the written story. Sponseller added, “a few bad decisions combined with trying to do the “right thing” often leads to horrifying situations due to a kind of karmic retribution[…]scenarios are macabre and frequently terrifying.
Although you certainly shouldn’t expect gore in a film like this, there are a few skeletons, crispy critters and a surprising amount of blood in one segment. ” As vivid scenes of shocking effect in the film may be present, this has been quantified in full by the original story’s weave of characterization in Giovanni’s images. It has been noted that the film established characters and relationships impeccably, before the unfolding of tragic changes in their relationships (Sponseller, 2005).
In all, while the written story delved on a more romantic side focusing on the poetic imagination and characteristic of Giovanni as the plot and characters are revealed like flower petals unfolding in a morning dew, the film was more viewed as a science-fiction thriller which at many points came in very differently as focus become entirely altered, albeit successfully on its own as the original Hawthorne thriller piece.