Nature In The Birthmark

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In the story written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Birthmark,” he focuses on Aylmer, a tedious scientist, and Georgiana, his wife. Due to a tiny, crimson birthmark on Georgiana’s cheek, Aylmer tries to persuade Georgiana to remove the birthmark in order to prevent the ruining of “the effect of [her] beauty” (6). Aylmer expresses disgust over her birthmark, and Georgiana, reluctantly, agrees to submit to Aylmer’s experiment in order to rid herself of her birthmark. Unfortunately, after giving Georgina his concoction that guaranteed her imperfection gone, she passes away as a perfect being. Considerably, Aylmer’s desire to remove her birthmark demonstrates the aspect that science controls nature, and in so doing, Aylmer controls Georgiana’s…show more content…
He sees them as people with the ability to synthesize life itself, motivated by the sense of discovery despite the obvious consequences of “[producing] discord in Nature” (13) or bringing “inharmonious effects upon [their] lives” (13). Science is a “masculine endeavor” (Easlea as quoted in Eckstein 512) through which men are have the “desire to create life” (512). Additionally, Nicholas K. Bromell, author of “’The Bloody Hand’ of Labor, Work, Class, and Gender in Three Stories by Hawthorne, states that scientists regard themselves as “higher and noble than matter” and therefore “destroy what is beautiful in. . .mortality and materiality” (544) without remorse. Aylmer could be considered to be in awe in terms of hate, towards nature itself, as he regards it as a barrier for the advancement of his studies as they are “thwarted by the earthly part” (15), despite his studies being majorly influenced by nature itself. It is as if Aylmer cannot deny that science and nature go hand in hand, whether this concept derives from his wife’s physiology or from his own prior studies of “profoundest mines” (10) and the “mystery of fountains” (10). The tedious scientist is regarded by his own wife as a man of “deep science” (9) for she has not only herself but the entire world “witness of it” (9). Hawthorne presented Aylmer as a scientist in order to emphasize the apparent…show more content…
Hawthorne made this tiny, crimson birthmark to be shaped as a hand in order to further envelop in theme of mortality, which Aylmer detests. Aylmer obsession to remove this tiny hand came not only from his presence of science, but also from the nightmare he had, presenting this hand as “[grasping]. . .hold of Georgiana’s heart” (8). It can be safely concluded that the shape of Georgiana’s birthmark was meant to represent her humanity, her “liability to sin, sorrow, decay, and death” (7). Whether Aylmer wanted to remove it for the sake of his love for her is rather is a disruptive assumption. Considering his thought and the “convulsive shudder” (10) towards this birthmark, Aylmer’s obsession for perfection, obsession for success in an experiment, surpassed the love for his wife. Georgina’s death, due to the ‘elixir’ that Aylmer presented as the cure that would vanish her imperfection, symbolizes the consequences of the imbalance stated before. Even research of genecology, such as those stated in “The Perils of the Imperfect Expectations of A Perfect Baby”, agree that several complications are possible to those mothers who wish to birth the “perfect baby.” Hawthorne’s story illustrates the outcome of such imbalance, proving that perfection does not exist, and those whom which to surpass nature and transcend to higher level than that set by nature will face the consequences. “The Birthmark”
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