In the year 2105, the American culture is a society that thrives off of the obsession of materialism and gaining the approval of others. Culture tells us to worry about how many “likes” we get on a picture of ourselves or the number of comments that tell us how beautiful or handsome we are. Beauty will fade, but people are willing to do anything that they can to preserve it forever. From plastic surgeries for a thiner nose, to silly home remedies for a wrinkly face, we won’t stop until perfection is achieved. The writings of Nathaniel Hawthorne in the nineteenth century did not differ much from the American culture that we see today. In The Birthmark, Hawthorne depicts the obsession for perfection, the tole it takes on one and the consequences it has. The quest for perfection is unrealistic and unobtainable as we are only mere humans incapable of reconstructing our DNA.
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.
All individuals are not born perfect. Every individual has their flaws that has a positive or negative impact to those around them and the society. All individuals have flaws that can or cannot hide from the rest of the world. Scholars of psychology argue that obsessions cause individuals to achieve perfection and can have a positive or negative aspect to an individuals’ life. Perfection is the conditions, state, or quality of being free as possible from all flaws or defects. 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
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.
Two tragedies, two stories of women who were in otherwise normal marriages. The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a short story about scientist named Aylmer who becomes obsessed with perfecting the beauty of his wife Georgiana (Nathaniel Hawthorne 113). Georgiana has a small birthmark on her cheek that resembles a small hand. Over time Aylmer’s negative reactions to the sight of the birthmark pushes Georgiana emotionally to give in and go through the dangerous process of it’s removal, which ultimately cost Georgiana her life. The story of an Hour by Kate Chopin is about a woman Louise who has a heart condition and is married to a man named Brently Mallard. She learns of her husband’s death in an accident and falsely finds a renewed joy for life as she is free from the burden of marriage. Tragically she goes to the front door as it is being opened with a key, to find Mr. Mallard still alive, causing her to die of heart
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.
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.
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
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. Aylmer believed that if people really had the desire to be perfect they would strive for it, but they don’t and in result Aylmer cannot accept the reality that people are imperfect. Hawthorne uses a number of techniques such as, setting, foreshadowing, imagery, tone, etc. With each of these different techniques he uses them to contribute to the story to create the theme or idea of the
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. Georgiana’s dependance on Aylmer, the inequality of the relationship and Aylmer’s disregard for her feelings, are the main ingredients of Aylmer and Georgiana’s unhealthy relationship.
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, “The Birthmark”, is an exemplary example of Dark Romanticism in early American literature. An abundance of romantic characteristics such as supernatural elements, intuition over reasoning, and the tendency to focus on the tragedy of the story are found throughout the Dark Romantic piece.
In “The Birthmark”, Aylmer is bothered in seeing a birthmark on his wife Georgiana’s cheek. I believe that Aylmer was truly evil in the way he manipulated Georgiana in thinking he truly cared about her. Aylmer’s ideas of perfection were the most dangerous thing about him and even led him to kill.
“The Birthmark” is a story of confusing sorrow about a man and a woman whose differences numerous problems for the two. Aylmer a renowned scientist of his time has taken it upon himself to marry a woman of great perfection and beauty. As Aylmer admires his wife, he notices a peculiar “birthmark” (306) upon his wife’s cheek in the shape of a “tiny hand” (305). Thus making the most beautiful woman flawed and imperfect. For a man that strives such great perfection it has become his mission to convince his wife of removing it and finding a way to do so. To Aylmer the hand is “crimson” (304), a reminder of sin and immortality increasing his obsession with removing it. This obsession with perfecting what’s imperfect strays him from seeing the good in his wife, causing him to kill her in the end. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s
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.
Aylmer’s potion doomed him by take away her breath. Aspiration for perfect wife not only kills Georgiana, it also spoils her husband because his longing to fabricate the ideal woman made him to overlook her true love and the beauty. Eventually, petty imperfection is all he could see when he romance with his wife. Georgian’s admirers are wise enough to understand that perfection is not a goal worth pursuing. Although these characters are invisible throughout the story they appreciate Georgina more than her husband does. In the end perfection is just mere opinion. Hawthorne's story argues that man is necessarily flawed and can't be expected to be perfect.