Selfishness In Nathaniel Hawthorne's A Good Man

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Selfishness runs through many individuals’ minds whether people think it does or does not. According to Dictionary.reference.com selfish is being “devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one’s own interest, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others. Characterized by or manifesting concern or care for only oneself”. Why are some characters selfish? There are various reasons why selfishness is a common trait in characters. The aspects of selfishness can be due to characters self-preservation, obsession with perfection, and fear of rejection.
The desire to protect themselves is one reason why some characters are selfish. One example of self-preservation is in the protagonist, the grandmother, in “A Good Man
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One example of wanting perfection is by the protagonist, Aylmer, in “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Aylmer is narcissistic and only cares about the outside of a person rather than the inside. “He had fancied himself with servant Aminadab, attempting an operation for the removal of the birthmark; but the deeper went the knife, the deeper sank the hand, until at length its tiny grasp appeared to have caught hold of Georgiana’s heart; whence, however, her husband was inexorably resolved to cut or wrench it away”(401). Aylmer did not care how the birthmark has to be removed from his wife, even if it meant going through her heart and pulling it out. He is so blinded and focused on his obsession that he fails to see what will happen in the future if he goes through with the procedure. Aylmer rushes to do the experiment on his wife, instead of waiting to test it on more objects for long-term results. Aylmer is amazingly happy that his work as a scientist has been such a success; However, only to understand that his wife is dying. He’s attraction to make his wife perfect ends with deadly consequences, as if science is he’s mistress, which is a metaphor. He cares more for science then his own…show more content…
One example of feeling frighten by rejection is by the protagonist, Faye, in “From A Secret Sorrow” Karen Van der Zee. Faye has a problem whether or not she should tell Kai or not because of her fear of rejection and losing Kais love. “She stiffened in defense-her whole body growing rigid with instinctive rebellion” (32). Faye attempt to avoid the pain or rejection by ending the relationship without open or honest discussions. She tries to leave by pushing him away. Faye opens up to Kai and continues her life with him, regardless if they have children or not. Faye sees herself as shame and had insecurities but then becomes dynamic by viewing herself as this woman that has this man see her as everything. Being the only woman that is beautiful, complete, and whole with or without children. She lost those emotions of feeling lack of self-esteem to feeling
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