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Commentary on The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

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The things in life he didn’t understand fascinated Nathaniel Hawthorne. He wrote a few stories in a literary journal called The Pioneer, one of them being “The Birthmark”. Time significantly influenced Hawthorne in creating this short story (Wheeler). Aylmer, the main character, uses the scientific experimentation throughout the story to remove the birthmark from his wife’s, Georgiana, face which results in him killing her. “The Birthmark” has attempting for perfection, the battle between science and nature, and the earthly love.
Aylmer trying to make everything in his life perfect is the dominant issue. Unfortunately, he killed his perfect wife due to an imperfection on her face. The potion he created to completely erase her “imperfect birthmark” took away her life. The birthmark symbolized mortality. The narrator of the story said that everything that is living is flawed and nature reminds us that everything that is alive dies at one point. The birthmark on her on her face was just a way to show she was human. Aylmer didn’t think of her birthmark that way though. He believes it’s an imperfection that makes her effects her soul. It’s ironic that he talks about having the power to “prolong life” and creating “elixir of immortality” (218), when he actually killed her. As she is dying, he finally tells her that she is “my peerless bride, it is successful! You are perfect” (225). He tried so hard to create the ideal woman that he couldn’t see the good in Georgiana. Aylmer thinks Georgiana’s birthmark’s is the “..shape bore not a similarity to the human hand”(216) and I thought of this as Jesus’s hand on Georgiana’s face. At the end of the day, I have more respect for the men who saw Georgiana’s birthmark adding on to her beauty becau...


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...rriage. Georgiana just wanted to please her husband in every way she could.
Throughout “The Birthmark”, there was never ending motivatation for perfection, the battle between science and nature, and the earthly love. This story taught me that everything I do in life doesn’t have to be perfect- from cleaning my room to doing a project. As long as I get it complete is all that should matter. Trying to make something perfect could cause me ruining everything. Also, next time I get a pimple or an imperfection, I shouldn’t stress it and blow it out of proportion. I have plenty imperfections on my legs from picking all my scabs as a kid, but I would never let anyone try to change who I am because those scars on my legs make me who I am today. The moral of the story is if you try to take away the “imperfection” from the person, you end up destroying the person as a whole.



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