Rappaccini's Daughter (in Contemporary American English) by Nathaniel Hawthorne
While many read this story as a horror story, the story is really a love story. The story is an ‘open story’ for which no definitive interpretation has been put forth. What is definitive is that it has spawned a small library filled with many serious and unserious interpretations. Among the serious one we find some common threads: that it deals with transcendentalist themes; that Beatrice is a heavenly angel and a fatal seductress, and Giovanni a Puritan prototype; it is also read as an allegory of the Garden of Eden where Giovanni and Beatrice are the surrogates of Adam and Eve, and Rappaccini God and Satan, with a poisonous plant for the tree of life. Like Chaucer, Shakespeare, and other classic writers, Nathaniel deserves to be read. Many good intentioned readers begin to read the first page of “Young Goodman Brown” only to abandon the story a few seconds later. It is the stilted language what deters readers. To make the story more agile and easy to follow, I have re-punctuated and re-paragraphed the text, removing the ‘thous,” “thees,” and other archaisms—making the prose resemble contemporary American English, while preserving Hawthorne’s admirable style.