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Evil in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark” Essay

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What seems to be a simple tale of human error at first, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “The Birthmark”, implies a much deeper and darker note upon closer inspection. A relatively short story, it details an event in the lives of Aylmer and Georgiana, a recent wedded couple. Georgiana possesses a birthmark on her cheek that repulses Aylmer more and more as time goes on. When he confronts her about it, she voices that it is a part of her charm, but Aylmer begins to react so violently around it that Georgiana finally agrees to give him a chance to remove it. He spends a few days in the laboratory with her and does remove the birthmark, but also removes her soul from the earth, she dies when the birthmark is gone. This story is wrought with details that support its label as a “dark romantic tale”. To see the story in the correct light, one has to understand what dark romanticism is. Dark romantic writers believed that humans are prone to sin. The human race is not always blessed with divinity and wisdom. Second, they represented evil in their stories with supernatural characters; ghost...


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