The Theme Of Perfection In Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Birthmark

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The Webster Dictionary defines “perfection” as “the quality or state of being saintly”. However, humans have always had difficulty defining perfection and have constantly tried to achieve perfection in order to obtain its true meaning. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, “The Birthmark,” Hawthorne dives into the real meaning of perfection and how to achieve such divinity through the characters of Aylmer and Georgiana. In a creative response to the story, I have found a “Moral Machine” activity that connects human values to perfection. Hawthorne displays human beings’ desire for perfection through character and relationship development. In the beginning, there was Aylmer and soon after, followed Georgiana; his character development causes his relationship with his wife, Georgiana, to deteriorate. The start of the downfall of their relationship happened when “one day, very soon after their marriage, Aylmer sat gazing at his wife with a trouble in his countenance.” He soon asked Georgiana, “’Has it ever occurred to you that the mark upon your cheek might be removed?” (10). At this point, his character has planted a seed of perfection and,…show more content…
Aylmer is challenged with this problem when the birthmark on his wife’s cheek starts to drive him utterly mad. Despite the fact that all of his experiments have failed, he still believes he will be able to play out the role of God and transform Georgiana’s condition into something of perfection, thus displaying the dispute with law, or God’s power. The “Moral Machine” activity demonstrates the same trial by testing one’s values with the laws proposed by the game. In total, both portray the difficulty of freedom of choice along with the underlying theme: perfection cannot be achieved on
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