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Tag Archive 'the birthmark essays'

The Birthmark Essay

June 16, 2009

In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s story, “The Birthmark“, we come to know a crazed scientist whose strive for perfection not only leads to the death of his beautiful wife, but the attempt of man to have power and control over nature.

As an accomplished scientist who views nature not as beautiful, but as imperfect, Aylmer, feels that it is in his power to “have corrected what Nature left imperfect in her fairest work!” (Hawthorne, pg. 347) The small, hand-like birthmark on his wife Georgiana’s left cheek, once oblivious to him, now only disgusts him. Consumed by his thoughts, “Wishing it away, that the world might possess on living specimen of ideal loveliness without the semblance of a flaw,” he becomes obsessed with her having it removed; Completely unaware, the birthmark itself symbolizes her own, and all of societies, humanity. Humanity in itself is flawed, imperfect as is Nature; neither are compatible with perfection. …

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