Nathaniel Hawthorne Symbolism In The Birthmark

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Kurt Vonnegut once said: "If people think nature is their friend, then they sure don't need an enemy." Nature is a higher more powerful force than mankind seems to never fully be able to understand. Man tries to comprehend this power sometimes in the form of different religion or by turning to the supernatural. Men often believe that they are above this power or that they can manipulate it. A prime example of this is in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark” Through his use of intricate symbolism, Hawthorne crafts an allegory for man’s unfeasible quest against nature for perfection. The most preeminent symbol is the birthmark within itself. The birthmark symbolizes mortality and more specifically, imperfections. Much of the symbolism of the birthmark is shown through its appearance. Hawthorn describes it gracefully ironically conflicting with the way Aylmer views it. He describes it:
To explain this conversation it must be mentioned that in the centre of Georgiana's left cheek there was a singular mark, deeply interwoven, as it were, with the texture and substance of her face. In the usual state of her complexion — a healthy though delicate bloom —
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Jules Zanger for the Chicago Journal states: “From the first paragraph, in which Aylmer takes a bride, to the very last, in which he loses her to death, all the incidents and details of the story chronicle for us the decline of a doomed marriage.”(Zanger 3) It is made unmissable that Georgiana as human being is not the true focus of Aylmer attention. Hawthorne even tells us that she is essentially an afterthought saying: “He had devoted himself, however, too unreservedly to scientific studies ever to be weaned from them by any second passion.” All the while, Georgiana is so committed to Aylmer she submits herself to his experiments with no regard for her own
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