These scholars’ arguments contribute to the story, “The Birth-Mark”, Nathanial Hawthorne expresses the common personal issue that individuals possess. The Birth-Mark was about a man named Aylmer and his obsession of science and the birth mark on his wife’s face. The birth
Symbolism in “The Birthmark” In “The Birthmark” Nathaniel Hawthorne gives us a story that is telling us on some level to accept your own, as well as other people's imperfections or it could destroy not only your relationship with them, but also your relationship with yourself. In this story Hawthorne uses symbolism to show us exactly how this kind of behavior can lead to not just ruining relationships, but in this case even death. In “The Birthmark” Hawthorne uses a wide variety of objects and people such as a withering flower, a birthmark, poison, Aylmer's dream and Georgiana's death, and even a character named Aminidab to symbolize that nobody is in fact perfect and we all must accept each others flaws in order to have good and healthy relationships.
At the end of the story Aylmer regretted pressuring his wife to change herself and feels remorseful for what he did. The Birthmark follows the struggles of man versus nature and man versus self. The main character Aylmer suffered no not being about to accept the flaws of his wife but also the fact that he cannot do everything, mostly because it is not his place to do these things. As the story develops the need for Aylmer to reach perfection grows stronger and later kills his wife.
Analyzation of The Birth Mark Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “The Birth Mark” shows readers the foolishness and selfishness of trying to create a perfect being and defying our creator. Nathaniel shows an example of this act by publishing this story of Aylmer and his non-perfect wife, who has a birth mark in the shape of a hand on her cheek. Aylmer is so disgusted with this mark that he soon begins to use science to take care of the problem. Throughout “The Birth Mark” Hawthorne performs different symbols that indicate Aylmer is just a human being and challenging God to make a perfect human will always lead to death.
Georgiana’s birthmark represents her grasp on humanity as shown in its shape as a hand. The hand symbolizes humanity’s role in nature and the continuous struggle between nature and science. Georgiana is someone who Aylmer sees as created “nearly perfect from the hand of Nature” (Hawthorne 1). Her birthmark is an imprint left by nature and is representative of humanity’s ties to it. Altering nature isn’t something that humans should be able to do because it is more powerful than any creation made by man.
The birthmark itself symbolizes morality. Aylmer, this brilliant scientist and husband to Georgiana, sees it has as fatal flaw. It also represents this imperfection of human nature. Nothing is perfect in nature, but science can help improve to make it seem flawless.
Intro: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s fictional short story “The Birthmark” and The Twilight Zone’s darkly romantic episode “Eye of the Beholder” both use gothic elements and delve into the realm of science to explore concepts of beauty and perfection. Through their contrasting characterizations of the scientist and employments of irony and allusions, each work comes to its own conclusions about how to define and treat beauty. Body #1: The Birthmark From the very first paragraph, Hawthorne’s story revolves around Aylmer, a scientist who supposedly gives up his career to marry the beautiful woman of his dreams, Georgiana.
In the short story “The Birthmark”, Nathaniel Hawthorne writes about a scientist, his wife, and the unhealthy relationship they share. The story follows Aylmer, a scientist, who is determined to remove his wife Georgiana’s birthmark. One aspect of their unhealthy relationship is Georgiana’s sole dependance on Aylmer. Furthermore, Aylmer does not view Georgiana as his equal. Not only this, but Aylmer frequently belittles her, continuously pointing out her flaws, which drives her to do something dangerous.
Everyone comes across something in their life that speaks to them--a symbol as it will be called. In the book, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, there are many symbols, but there is one that really stands out above the rest, and that is the mark on Dimmesdale’s chest. The Scarlet Letter’s primary focus is on the life of Hester Prynne, who had an affair with someone and was accused of the crime and forced to wear a scarlet letter A for the rest of her life. The mark on Arthur Dimmesdale’s chest (although it was never truly stated what the mark actually was) can be seen as guilt in physical form which slowly begins to show over time.
In the story “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, he uses several techniques to help build his story. Hawthorne tells a story of a man of science whose name was Aylmer. He married a beautiful women named Georgiana, although she was quite beautiful she had a birthmark on her face which, in Aylmer’s eyes was an imperfection. Aylmer tries to perfect Georgiana, but in the end Aylmer’s attempts to change Georgiana causes him to lose her. Aylmer does not accept the idea of imperfections in people.
The birthmark in Georgiana’s cheek symbolizes that she is a mortal being, and its nature’s way of showing it. Nathaniel comments, “The Crimson Hand expressed the ineludible gripe, in which mortality clutches the highest and purest of earthly mould, degrading them into kindred with the lowest, and even with very brutes, like whom their visible frames return to dust” (646). Nobody gets away from the hands of death; everybody in this world is destined to die at some point. Again Hawthorne provides evidence that her birthmark is the symbol of mortality by writing, “With the morning twilight, Aylmer opened his eyes upon his wife’s face, and recognised the symbol of imperfection; and when they sat together at the evening hearth, his eyes wandered stealthily to her cheek, and beheld, flickering with the blaze of the wood fire, the spectral Hand that wrote mortality, where he would fain have worshipped” (647).
Nathaniel uses a birthmark as a symbolic representation of mankind's desire to remove imperfections from our world. “The mark, as the subject around which the entire narrative revolves, is quite obviously of central thematic and structural concern in the story, but, from the outset, what is regarded as most interesting about it is its signifying quality. its capacity for different readings by different readers is presented to us as one of its first and major characteristics”(Britannica). What the author of this article is saying is that the mark is perceived differently by different people where one perceives it as an imperfection another could perceive it as an enhancement to her own beauty. Which could be related back to human instinct to remove imperfections from the world, but what they see as imperfection is really an enhancement for mankind.
The true essence of “The Birthmark” is infiltrated through the hidden structure of the strength of a woman. As we unpack the passion behind the obsession that Aylmer presents with his genius in science, on the surface, one may recognize his obscenity and categorize it as a reflection of masculine control. Though, this is in fact true, what strikes as an unbeknownst strength is the hidden sacrifice that Georgiana represents as she succumbs to her spouse and his desire to make her “perfect”. As Hawthorne structures this sacrifice as a mere testament of how women of the late 1700’s - 1800’s valued the perspective of their spouse, it is necessary to extract how this act of selflessness attributes to the amount of love and respect Georgiana has for
Equally Aylmer and Dr. Rappiccini, both characters in Hawthorne’s works causes destruction of human life with selfish aims to perfect the woman of their choice. In the case of Aylmer’s love interest in science, just as with the case of Beatrice’s father, blinds him to the true beauty and humanity of the woman before him. Aylmer views Georgiana’s birthmark as a symbol of imperfection and tries to remove it. At the end of the story, Georgiana say, "My poor Aylmer," she repeated, with a more than human tenderness, "you have aimed loftily; you have done nobly. Do not repent that with so high and pure a feeling, you have rejected the best the earth could offer.