Tragedy In The Birthmark

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Something tragic occurs, a person dies, who is responsible? What if the responsible party isn’t a someone at all, but a singular characteristic of that someone? Whenever tragedy arises we often look for someone or something to blame. There are instances where there can be more than one party at fault or even no one party at all. Flaws are an evident characteristic of all humans, they can often affect judgment and impact the events that occur in one’s life. Flaws can even be a contributor to tragedies. In “The Birthmark”, by Nathaniel Hawthorne both Aylmer and Georgiana are to blame for the tragedy that occurs. Firstly, “The Birthmark” includes characteristics of classic Greek literature. One common characteristics of these works are a tragic…show more content…
Each of the tragic flaws they possessed seemed to complement the flaw of the other partner. While Aylmer strives for perfection in an obsessive way, Georgiana’s submissive character contributes to his ability to proceed in his actions. Her submissive nature can be attributed to her time period’s expectations which impacted her choices leading to her tragic death. Georgiana’s flaw of conforming benefits Aylmer in a negative way. Due to her conforming nature she agrees with her husband’s disgust of the birthmark and his plan of removal. In “The Birthmark”, Georgiana was witnessed, eagerly drinking the potion made by her husband to rid her of the birthmark (Hawthorne 9). If Georgiana had been more assertive against the judgement of her husband she may have saved herself. This describes Georgiana’s last moments, “As the last crimson tint of the birthmark-- that sole token of human imperfection--faded from her cheek, the parting breath of the now perfect woman passed into the atmosphere…” (Hawthorne 10). Demonstration of each of their responsibilities is expressed. Aylmer was ultimately successful in making his wife perfect, through Georgiana’s submissive nature. Though through making his wife perfect he also caused her
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