Love In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Birthmark

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Where there are clashing loves, time proves again and again that whichever love is stronger blossoms and its unfortunate counterpart dissipates into the wind. Making room for a second love can be difficult, especially if the second love dares to threaten the prior. This very phenomenon strikes the scientist Aylmer in the short story “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Aylmer’s burning passion has been the art of scientific studies. Aylmer shows no intentions of changing his scientific way of thinking for anyone, not even his newly beloved wife Georgiana. In this time period, it is extremely common for a women to have to compete with a man’s love for science. Unfortunately for Georgiana, it is evident that Aylmer’s primary cares are himself…show more content…
Aylmer displays his contempt toward Georgiana’s birthmark when he talks in his sleep. Subsequently, the very next morning Georgiana tells Aylmer, “Life is not worth living while this hateful mark makes me the object of your horror… remove this little mark for the sake of your peace and my own.” Seeing the level of Georgiana’s distress, Aylmer could easily drop the topic by telling her the birthmark is in fact a charm, but he does not. Instead, Aylmer proceeds by taking Georgiana to his laboratory to be experimented on. After Georgiana drinks many of Aylmer’s home made chemicals , Aylmer walks into the room and tells Georgiana, “I have already given you chemicals powerful enough to change your entire physical system. Only one thing remains to be tried and if that fails, we are ruined!”. In this moment it is transparent that Aylmer has no regard for Georgiana’s wellbeing and risks her life for the sake of removing the birthmark. It is also clear that at this point Aylmer puts the entire weight of their marriage on the final mixture working and if it does not work, they are “ruined”. Aylmer’s passion for science proves to be much greater than his so called love for Georgiana, foreshadowing her inevitable
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