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Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short stories “The Birthmark” and Rappaccinni’s Daughter are both tragic tales of women being taken advantage of. In each account a young woman is skillfully led to her downfall by a loved one she trusts. In each case Hawthorne includes an inconceivable innocence about the woman. It should be taken into account that without this element of innocence their fatal destinies could have been avoided.

Georgiana, whose imperfection though by no fault of her own, was her infectious birthmark. This mark was one that she was born with, thereby, her innocence is obvious. How could a child be guilty for that which it is given from birth? Childhood innocence greatly affected Beatrice as well. She was born to a man of medicine who poisoned her at birth to use her in his experimentation. A newborn child is defenseless. Whether it is nature or the cruelties of humanity a child cannot guard itself from harm. From the beginning it is evident that these women will surely





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