Symbolism In 'The Birthmark' By Nathaniel Hawthorne

700 Words3 Pages

In a text, symbolism can unveil a whole new plot and give the reader many different interpretations of the story. In his story “The Birthmark,'' Nathaniel Hawthorne uses symbolism to portray many different meanings behind one birthmark laid upon Georgianna’s face. This birthmark can be interpreted many different ways. Some may believe that the birthmark symbolizes religion however, the mark actually symbolizes human imperfection. On the outside, the birthmark resembles the touch of God that enhances Georgianna’s beauty, but when one dives deeper they realize that it actually symbolizes human imperfection. Georgianna, even though beautiful, is human and all humans have flaws. Hawthorne uses this beauty mark to argue that no one is perfect and …show more content…

Aylmer wants his wife to be perfect, however he believes that the birthmark on her face is keeping her from being so. The birthmark can be a symbol for many things, but the most important being human imperfection. Georgianna’s beauty is hidden behind this mark and that can be interpreted as outer and inner beauty. Almyer wants to rid his wife of physical imperfections and internal imperfections as well. Hawthorne shows that Almyer becomes even more disgusted with Georgianna as he thinks more of this mark (388). He literally wants to rid her of her one unattractive flaw and symbolically wants to rid her of any inner flaw. Hawthorne invites the reader to come to this understanding especially after Georgianna dies because it shows that she cannot live without her flaws just as humans cannot live without flaws because every human has …show more content…

Hawthorne shows when Almyer gets rid of Georgianna’s birthmark he takes away her imperfection which also takes away her humanity. Once she loses her only imperfection, she becomes perfect and she can not live because she is no longer human. Hawthorne's argument is that everyone has flaws and when Georgianna no longer had any flaws, she was not human anymore and was sent to heaven. The birthmark itself can show the audience that one’s duty as a human is to not be perfect and the world has no room for those who are. Aylmer is not perfect either and one can see this in his previous failures in science as well as his failure with

Open Document