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Dr. Heidegger's Experiment

Dr. Heidegger's Experiment

by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Versions of Reality Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

"My dear old friends,'' said Dr. Heidegger, motioning them to be seated, "I am desirous of your assistance in one of those little experiments with which I amuse myself here in my study.'' (2)

This is a very telling line with regards to Dr. Heidegger's character. The word "amuse" should jump out at the reader – it suggests that Heidegger already knows the outcome of his little "experiment" and is simply watching his four poor guests squander their youth – again – for his own pleasure.

Quote #2

If all stories were true, Dr. Heidegger's study must have been a very curious place. (3)

Notice how the narrator calls his own statements into question. Just like Dr, Heidegger's guests, the reader isn't sure of exactly what's happening here.

Quote #3

It was a dim, old-fashioned chamber, festooned with cobwebs, and besprinkled with antique dust. (3)

The narrator's word choice is somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Words like "festooned" and "besprinkled" exaggerate the anachronistic, spooky nature of the Doctor's study. The prose, too, is somewhat curious and out of place.

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