Nathaniel Hawthorn, author of "The Minister's Black Veil- and "Rappaccini's Daughter,"" lived a life of solitude "devoting the majority of his existence to the acquisition of knowledge. Likewise, in these two short stories, a few characters also come about this misfortune, whether by choice or by obligation. Each story proves a unique point about the relationship between knowledge and the human character as well as the concept of isolation; yet, there are also many parallels in the existence thereof. .
In "Rappaccini's Daughter- the young, beautiful Beatrice is isolated "literally "as a result of the poison her father has instilled into her. This poison has made it impossible for her to enjoy the company of other people due to the fact that she is doomed to destroy that which she simply breathes upon. Throughout the short story, the reader becomes familiar with this curse; however, the reader also discovers, as does Beatrice, that all humans possess their own form of this curse known as poison. As Beatrice begins to fade, she inquires of Giovanni, "was there not, from the first, more poison in thy nature than in mine?- Beatrice refuses to see the poison in Giovanni until just before her death, when he bitterly accuses her of descending this curse of loneliness upon him as well. Furthermore, it is only upon her death that Beatrice may free herself of both solitude and the pain from Giovanni's harsh words. She "must pass heavily, with that broken heart, across the borders of Time "she must bathe her hurts in some fount of paradise, and forget her grief in the light of immortality- in order to achieve her freedom of solitude and sorrow. Similarly, in "The Minister's Black Veil,"" the black veil, which represents secretive sin, separated Father Hooper from his people, when in all actuality, each person possesses his own black veil, though only the departing come to this epiphany.