The Birthmark The short story “The Birthmark” was written by Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1834. The story follows a brilliant, yet insane scientist named Aylmer. He creates so many brilliant inventions in hoping to improve his life; his wife is just as perfect, despite a small hand shaped birthmark on her cheek. While Georgiana is considered gorgeous and beautiful by hundreds of men, only Aylmer sees the fault in the birthmark and deems it as a flaw that only he can fix with science. Nathaniel Hawthorne uses symbolism and figurative language to help convey the meaning of the short story to readers.
From the late 18th century to the mid-19th century America began to experience Romanticism; a period where emotions, spiritual understanding, and a close relationship with nature were emphasized. Romanticism is clearly the style used in Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark” not to mention it is chalked full of symbolism in light of one man’s obsession with nature, science, perfection, and Georgiana. The birthmark resembling a “tiny crimson hand” imprinted on Georgiana’s cheek is clearly a form of symbolism used to represent many concepts in this great literary piece. Many may interpret “the hand” to symbolize such things as mortality, imperfection, humanity, the hand of nature, the hand of God, or even a liability of sin.
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. Aylmer believes that he can correct “what Nature left imperfect in her fairest work!” (4). Aylmer, who stands as a symbol for science, obsessively seeks to remove Georgiana’s birthmark and make her ideal. When mankind attempts to change nature in the pursuit of perfection, it never ends well as seen in Aylmer’s attempts at
“The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a criticism of human’s focus on perfection and the damage it can cause. Georgiana has a birthmark on her cheek that many believe to be one of the many sources of her beauty. But her husband, Aylmer, believes it to be a hideous imperfection. Aylmer, a scientist, believes that he has the cure for something as damaging as a birthmark. After much persistence, he receives permission to attempt to remove Georgiana’s birthmark and has to deal with its inevitable consequences. Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark” shows an obsession with perfection and the damage it can have on something as fragile as human life.
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.
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
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.
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.
A bell. A heart. A birthmark. An eye. What do all these objects have in common? They are all used as symbols to create a portal into the protagonist's life. Symbolism is applied in both “The Birthmark” and “The Tell-Tale Heart” to help the reader better comprehend character aspects of selfishness and culpability portrayed in the protagonist.
Where there are clashing loves, time proves again and again that whichever love is stronger blossoms and its unfortunate counterpart dissipates into the wind. Making room for a second love can be difficult, especially if the second love dares to threaten the prior. This very phenomenon strikes the scientist Aylmer in the short story “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Aylmer’s burning passion has been the art of scientific studies. Aylmer shows no intentions of changing his scientific way of thinking for anyone, not even his newly beloved wife Georgiana.
The short story “The Birthmark”, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, plunges the readers into the dramatic atmosphere of scientific endeavors. A multitude of emotions arise as the protagonist, a prominent scientist, wishes to remove a birthmark appearing on the cheek of his lovely wife. However, Georgiana seems to disagree with the venture, as readers feel she is seriously threaten by the removal of her birthmark, which could be seen as the impurity among her gorgeousness. The presence of science in the story releases an element anxiousness as it is portrayed somewhat threatening for the readers. Multiple elements of the story sustain the anxious viewpoint of science as readers endure a vast range of negative emotions. Firstly, Aylmer’s inhospitable
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
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.
Natural Beauty is Perfection Itself In the short stories “The Birthmark” and “Rappaccini’s Daughter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the value of science over human life is established. Nathaniel Hawthorne explores the characterization of beauty, emotion over love, versus intellect over science, and an exploration of creator over creation. He presents an idea about scientific research, especially regarding feminine beauty. These tales are told with a motive to give the audience a sympathetic understanding of women’s beauty; which is something precious and already the model of nature’s perfection.
The Price of Perfection Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote the short story “The Birthmark” in 1843 and it is set at a time when science was an emerging field. Science at that time was unexplainable and mysterious to the common person which lead to it being referred to as magic. One of the themes that is common in Hawthorne's work is the sinful nature and impurity that is at the heart of each person. Hawthorne shows the dilemma of the flawed nature of a person and the ultimate price of perfection that will be paid.