John L. Idol, Jr., and Melinda M. Ponder in Hawthorne and Women: Engendering
and Expanding the Hawthorne Tradition, portray the heroines in "The Birth-mark"
and "Rappaccini's Daughter" as "victims" who are penalized by men who try to
"*’The Birth-mark’ and ‘Rappaccini's Daughter,’ both written after
his marriage, the first appearing in 1843, the second in 1844. Here women are
victims and suffer death because the men in their lives cannot accept them as
they are" (Idol and Ponder 300). (courtesy of University of
Massachusetts Press )