The Birthmark Literary Analysis Essay

717 Words3 Pages
Here is a story of Aylmer, “a man of science,” who had a wife who was known for her beauty and her “hand-shaped birthmark.” Although perfect in the eyes of her admirers, her husband did not agree for the birthmark grew more and more intolerable for him in their lives together. As the days went on, Georgina became bothered by the way her husband would react towards her presence, towards the mark upon her cheek. She then agrees to allow Aylmer to remove her birthmark, even after reading his past experiment failures. This mistake brings his “peerless bride,” Georgiana, to her demise (Hawthorne 350). Destruction of beauty in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s story, “The Birthmark,” is developed through the use of symbolism, conflict, and irony. First and foremost the birthmark upon Georgiana’s cheek symbolizes the mortality of all living things. All the living are…show more content…
When Aylmer demanded assistance from his servant, Aminadab, with Georgiana who was in a “lifeless form,” he muttered to himself: “If she were my wife, I’d never part with the birthmark” (Hawthorne 343). The ironic aspect of this part of the story is the servant, the scientist's personal laboratory rat, knew that the removal of such a tiny “defect” would end in a great loss. The “man of science,” the “philosopher,” the faith in man’s “ultimate control over nature,” all meant nothing. He could not see past his wife’s imperfection and look at what was truly important, her inner beauty. Destruction of beauty in this story, “The Birthmark,” is developed through the use of symbolism, conflict, and irony. Aylmer’s obsession with removing the birthmark cost him more than he cared to imagine, the loss of his wife’s life. His fascination of perfection had killed their marriage before her soul departed from her body, not realizing that his lack of wisdom would cost him
Open Document