Themes In The Birthmark

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The most obvious character to refer to when discussing these themes is Aylmer. In one way or another, Aylmer displays all three of these themes. While the “darkness of the human heart,” is a, somewhat, vague term, in this story it could relate to the idea of love, “darkness” being the lack thereof. Aylmer exemplifies this version of “darkness” with his inability to love his wife, so long as she has the birthmark. While Aylmer clearly believes that his wife’s birthmark tarnishes her beauty, the way Hawthorne presents the situation is a bit different. As a reader you begin to see the birthmark as something that should be cherished and, instead, see the main character’’s lack of love as a disgrace and a “darkness.” What’s even darker, is that Aylmer is able to convince Georgiana, herself, that the birthmark must be gone. The further the reader gets in the story, the more tortured Georgiana seems, until her husband, the person who is supposed to love her most, murders her, to rid her of imperfection. The fact the Aylmer deems Georgiana’s beauty more important than her life and sticks to this belief so strongly is a perfect demonstration of inner-darkness and corruption among men.
Through Aylmer, Hawthorne shines a light on the darkest
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Aylmer is unable to part with his past identity as a scientist and resist his need for progression. While Georgiana’s past clings to her, physically, via the birthmark. Aylmer’s case is interesting because he is unable to part with his past, which leads to tragedy, while Georgiana, on the other hand, is trying, desperately, to get rid of her past. What’s more is that she only does this at the urging of Aylmer, once again exposing Aylmer’s darkness and corruption, as he uses his position of dominance and leadership, within their relationship, to make Georgiana hate her
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