In the year 2105, the American culture is a society that thrives off of the obsession of materialism and gaining the approval of others. Culture tells us to worry about how many “likes” we get on a picture of ourselves or the number of comments that tell us how beautiful or handsome we are. Beauty will fade, but people are willing to do anything that they can to preserve it forever. From plastic surgeries for a thiner nose, to silly home remedies for a wrinkly face, we won’t stop until perfection is achieved. The writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne in the nineteenth century did not differ much from the American culture that we see today. In The Birthmark, Hawthorne depicts the obsession for perfection, the tole it takes on one and the consequences it has. The quest for perfection is unrealistic and unobtainable as we are only mere humans incapable of reconstructing our DNA.
In the nineteenth century, woman had no power over men in society. They were limited in their freedom, as their lives were controlled by their husbands. Some women did not mind this lifestyle, and remained obedient, while some rebelled and demanded their rights. “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, and “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, are short stories that exposes the lifestyle women lived in the nineteenth century. The protagonists from both stories, Jane and Georgiana, similarly lived a male dominated lifestyle. Although both Georgiana and Jane lived the same era, in which their husbands dominated them, their behaviors, social reputation, and tolerance differed.
Intro: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s fictional short story “The Birthmark” and The Twilight Zone’s darkly romantic episode “Eye of the Beholder” both use gothic elements and delve into the realm of science to explore concepts of beauty and perfection. Through their contrasting characterizations of the scientist and employments of irony and allusions, each work comes to its own conclusions about how to define and treat beauty.
Two tragedies, two stories of women who were in otherwise normal marriages. The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a short story about scientist named Aylmer who becomes obsessed with perfecting the beauty of his wife Georgiana (Nathaniel Hawthorne 113). Georgiana has a small birthmark on her cheek that resembles a small hand. Over time Aylmer’s negative reactions to the sight of the birthmark pushes Georgiana emotionally to give in and go through the dangerous process of it’s removal, which ultimately cost Georgiana her life. The story of an Hour by Kate Chopin is about a woman Louise who has a heart condition and is married to a man named Brently Mallard. She learns of her husband’s death in an accident and falsely finds a renewed joy for life as she is free from the burden of marriage. Tragically she goes to the front door as it is being opened with a key, to find Mr. Mallard still alive, causing her to die of heart
In “The Birthmark” Nathaniel Hawthorne gives us a story that is telling us on some level to accept your own, as well as other people's imperfections or it could destroy not only your relationship with them, but also your relationship with yourself. In this story Hawthorne uses symbolism to show us exactly how this kind of behavior can lead to not just ruining relationships, but in this case even death. In “The Birthmark” Hawthorne uses a wide variety of objects and people such as a withering flower, a birthmark, poison, Aylmer's dream and Georgiana's death, and even a character named Aminidab to symbolize that nobody is in fact perfect and we all must accept each others flaws in order to have good and healthy relationships.
Foreshadowing was used by Mary Shelley in Frankenstein to achieve her goal of making the reader predict what will happen. The first form of foreshadowing the reader notices is when Walton says to Victor, “One man’s life or death were but a small price to pay for the acquirement of the knowledge” (11). This foreshadows the disasters that will face Victor as he experiments and tries to find the unknown. Then, Victor says, “Let me reveal my tale, and you will dash the cup from your lips?” (12). This foreshadows that once Walton hears Frankenstein’s story, he will change his mind about his expedition. Also, during the thunderstorm that happened in Victor’s childhood, Victor sees a tree get struck by lightning. He becomes interested in the idea of electricity, and he starts to study its
She was not like other young women that would be housewives or maids at her age but instead is independent. Looking after herself and making more of a life for herself, she attends school, tries to play guitar, and looks for a love interest. This breaks the stereotype of a “normal” woman who is a housewife or maid and shows Beneatha is different. Therefore, Beneatha overcomes this criticism of her “unnatural ways”, and proceeds to make her life successful.
The short story “The Birthmark” was written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1834. The story follows a brilliant, yet insane scientist named Aylmer. He creates so many brilliant inventions in hoping to improve his life; his wife is just as perfect, despite a small hand shaped birthmark on her cheek. While Georgiana is considered gorgeous and beautiful by hundreds of men, only Aylmer sees the fault in the birthmark and deems it as a flaw that only he can fix with science. Nathaniel Hawthorne uses symbolism and figurative language to help convey the meaning of the short story to readers.
Foreshadowing is seen in the line, “...I come, cherishing this hope especially, to win approval in my father’s sight, approval too, my mother, in thine, and thine dear brother! For that with these hands I paid unto you dead lavement and ordering and sepulchre-libations; and that now, Polynices, in the tendance of thy body I meet with this reward ” (Sophocles 33), when Antigone reveals that she knows that she is going to die and with that in mind she wishes to be reunited with her parents and brothers in death. This is foreshadowing because when Antigone does die, she is finally reunited with her beloved
Georgiana’s birthmark represents her grasp on humanity as shown in its shape as a hand. The hand symbolizes humanity’s role in nature and the continuous struggle between nature and science. Georgiana is someone who Aylmer sees as created “nearly perfect from the hand of Nature” (Hawthorne 1). Her birthmark is an imprint left by nature and is representative of humanity’s ties to it. Altering nature isn’t something that humans should be able to do because it is more powerful than any creation made by man. Aylmer believes that he can correct “what Nature left imperfect in her fairest work!” (4). Aylmer, who stands as a symbol for science, obsessively seeks to remove Georgiana’s birthmark and make her ideal. When mankind attempts to change nature in the pursuit of perfection, it never ends well as seen in Aylmer’s attempts at
In the story “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, he uses several techniques to help build his story. Hawthorne tells a story of a man of science whose name was Aylmer. He married a beautiful women named Georgiana, although she was quite beautiful she had a birthmark on her face which, in Aylmer’s eyes was an imperfection. Aylmer tries to perfect Georgiana, but in the end Aylmer’s attempts to change Georgiana causes him to lose her. Aylmer does not accept the idea of imperfections in people. Aylmer believed that if people really had the desire to be perfect they would strive for it, but they don’t and in result Aylmer cannot accept the reality that people are imperfect. Hawthorne uses a number of techniques such as, setting, foreshadowing, imagery, tone, etc. With each of these different techniques he uses them to contribute to the story to create the theme or idea of the
One example of foreshadowing in Of Mice and Men is when George told Lennie where to meet him. George said, “Lennie- if you jus’ happen to get in trouble lie you always done before, I want you to come right here an’ hide in the brush.” George was trying to make sure that Lennie knew where to go if he got in trouble like he had in Weed. Steinbeck is telling us that Lennie is going to get in trouble again at some point. When Lennie does get himself into trouble he goes to the brush to hide, and George meets him there. This would not have made sense to the reader if Steinbeck had not included foreshadowing.
In the short story “The Birthmark”, Nathaniel Hawthorne writes about a scientist, his wife, and the unhealthy relationship they share. The story follows Aylmer, a scientist, who is determined to remove his wife Georgiana’s birthmark. One aspect of their unhealthy relationship is Georgiana’s sole dependance on Aylmer. Furthermore, Aylmer does not view Georgiana as his equal. Not only this, but Aylmer frequently belittles her, continuously pointing out her flaws, which drives her to do something dangerous. Georgiana’s dependance on Aylmer, the inequality of the relationship and Aylmer’s disregard for her feelings, are the main ingredients of Aylmer and Georgiana’s unhealthy relationship.
In “The Birthmark”, Aylmer is bothered in seeing a birthmark on his wife Georgiana’s cheek. I believe that Aylmer was truly evil in the way he manipulated Georgiana in thinking he truly cared about her. Aylmer’s ideas of perfection were the most dangerous thing about him and even led him to kill.
Skimming through the literary work, foreshadowing is an obvious detail that appears in the work several times. One example perceives in the form of the relentless fog, seeping in during the darkness at night, as if a sullen omen for something terrible to come. The idea of fog in general gives off an eerie vibe, pulling