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Dr. Heidegger's Exparament

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Dr. Heidegger's Experiment Essay

In every experiment, the conductor is out to prove a particular theory. That is the case in Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story Dr. Heidegger's Experiment. The story consists of four extremely old people specifically chosen by Dr. Heidegger, three men and one woman who had known each other when they were younger. In the experiment, each subject is given the chance to be young again by drinking from the fountain of youth. In his experiment, Dr. Heidegger may have been testing the properties of water or the responses of the subjects to the water.

In the story there is plenty of evidence to show that Dr. Heidegger was testing the response of the subjects. One theory that he may have been testing was that if the subjects would learn form their mistakes and not make the same ones. Many years ago when the four subjects where younger, the three men were madly in love with the one woman, Widow Wycherly, so much that they almost killed each other over her. But after all the years passed the passion had worn off and they no longer loved her. Before drinking from the fountain of youth, Dr Heidegger warned them to learn from their past and not to make the same mistakes, and all of the subjects where confident that they would not repeat the mistakes of their past. But after drinking form the fountain of youth they soon where fighting over Widow Wycherly. Their behaviors proved that they did not use the wisdom that comes with age.

Dr. Heidegger states that the subjects are drinking from the fountain of youth, which is impossible because it does not exist. There can't be a fountain of youth because scientific reality states that things that can't happen don't happen. People cannot grow young again by drinking a type of water. So if the water does not contain any age-defying properties Dr. Heidegger could not be testing the properties of the water.




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