Right out the gate when Hawthorneintroduces the protagonist, his name was not given until later on in thepassage.
The protagonist was referred to as only a scientist. This relays tothe reader that he is a scientist at heart and everything else will come afterthat. Also in the first sentence, Hawthorne establishes the time the storytakes place. However, the setting was never mentioned. By doing so, he’salready establishing the environment to be closed off location. Throughout therest of the story, a location was never mentioned.
The reader meets threecharacters and the entire story takes place either in the scientist’s lab orhis and his wife’s house. With very few characters and location changes, theimpression of the story is already isolation. With no location given, the only pieceof the setting the reader gets is the time which is before Hawthorne publishedthe story.
During those times, science was seen as magic or witchcraft and nottruth to why and how things happen. Hawthorne states this man’s spiritual affinityis stronger than his chemical affinity. This ambiguous statement lets thereader interpret it as the scientist’s love for his wife is stronger than his lovefor science, or his experiments are not the best and he is not the best ofscientists which might lead to some foreshadowing later on.
Continuing with the scientist and his wife,they were recently married which automatically makes the reader question theirmarriage. The scientist left his laboratory behind to his assistant, Hawthorneestablishing the final character, to pursue his wife. Doing so enforces thenarrative that the scientists loves his wife more than science himself.Although, Hawthorne explains why the love of science can rival the love ofwomen. By going back and forth between the two choices, the reader does notknow which thing the scientist loves more.
It creates suspense to see which onethe scientist finally picks. Hawthorne finally gives the scientist a name andstates nothing will come in between Aylmer and science. Then, his love for hiswife was brought in light again and the reader is back to playing ping pongwith deciding if Aylmer’s love for his wife or science is stronger. Just in thefirst paragraph, the reader will contemplate between Aylmer’s true love and thefate of his marriage.