Dr. Heidegger's Experiment
by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Guests Timeline and Summary
- The guests arrive at Dr. Heidegger's study. We learn about their various histories and downfalls.
- The widow doubts that Dr. Heidegger can make the rose young again.
- Even after they witness the trick with the rose, the guests remain skeptical. Still, they decide to drink the elixir.
- The Widow and the other guests promise that, if they become young again, they won't make the same mistakes they did the first time around.
- As the guests drink glass after glass of the water, they feel themselves growing younger.
- The Widow rejoices in her newfound youth. She rushes to a mirror to admire her good looks. Mr. Medbourne is occupied with financial concerns. Killigrew sings boozy songs at the top of his lungs, and Mr. Gascoigne is again occupied with politics.
- The guests mock the clothes that they were wearing as old people.
- The three men start fighting over the Widow, and she encourages their competition.
- The widow and the other guests bemoan their changing appearance as they grow old again. They all agree to travel to Florida, find the fountain of youth, and drink from it "morning, noon, and night" (52).