Beauty And The Scientific Beast In The Birth-Mark By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Beauty and the Scientific Beast Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in the year 1804 in the town of Salem, Massachusetts. Hawthorne was born into a Puritan family, which can be evident in many of his writings. He attended Bowdoin College and served on the U.S. Consul. Hawthorne’s early works did not go over well at first. Many did not know of him until his publication of The Scarlet Letter, which was a very controversial work of fiction during his time. In his stories he expressed his guilt for his family participating in the Salem Witch Trials among other things that affected his everyday life. Some of these things can be seen in his short story, “The Birth-Mark”. He confronted his feelings about Puritanism, nature, science, and beauty in this story.…show more content…
This was the case for Aylmer. Aylmer was so self-indulged in his own fantasy world where his wife was perfect and did not have a birthmark that he could focus on nothing else. His wife also discovers that he has many unfinished experiments, making Aylmer feel insecure and fueled his desire to “fix” his wife with science even more. If he was able to produce a successful experiment on another person, he would have something to brag about and be proud of. This kind of manic desire is what lead to his failure. Hartnett states,”…desiring subjects apprehend things or persons not on their own terms, but rather, as the space for the projection of self-fulfilling fantasy” (par 7). This means that during Aylmer’s experimentation, it became less about his wife, and more about projecting his scientific success onto something, or someone, else. Something that could be seen and tangible, as many people knew about Georgiana’s birthmark. If she were to be seen without it, people would ask why, and he would have his chance to gloat and claim intellectual superiority. That was not the case however, because his selfish desires took Georgiana’s life. However, some may claim that Aylmer was not
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