The Birthmark


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	Are you unhappy with your looks? If you are, then you should feel at home as a member of human kind. You can dye your hair and wear colored eye contact lenses. Humankind is the only place where one can receive a "boob-job" or have a tattoo put on your chest and then have it removed when you are ready for a change. An instant, effortless weightloss program? Just step into my office and we will discuss lyposuction. And while we are at it, we should discuss removing that…thing. It just doesn’t become you. As one can see, it seems quite easy in today’s world to redo nature’s intent. Yes, the field of medical science has greatly advanced within the confines of the past two hundred years or so. Skills and procedures that have been learned during this time can be used in such powerful ways. Anyone can become practically anybody else they choose—just a clip here, slice there, take fat cells from here and add them to there, and voila…a new person. However, Mother Nature as been around for quite a bit longer, and she knows what she is doing—leave her alone! Messing with nature’s intent is dangerous and I wouldn’t go there.

	Aylmer Chillingworth, a scientist in Hawthorne’s short story, "The Birthmark," has married a young woman, a certain Georgianna, despite the fact she possesses a birthmark upon the center of her left facial cheek. Aylmer feels that he has ignored this "ugly marking" long enough and decides he can "make her better." " ‘Geogianna,’said he, ‘has it never occurred to you that the mark upon your cheek might be removed?’" Of course, Mrs. Chillingworth has grown up from child to woman with this birthmark and she feels nothing of it. "To tell you the truth, it has been so often called a charm…" However, Chillingworth is just being the scientist that he is, and thinks he can fix this "…visible mark of earthly imperfection.’" Through many acts of persuasion and begging, Georgianna begrudgingly agrees to undergo the operation of removing the birthmark from her body. However, the operation procedure is dangerous and, once the procedure is over with and Aylmer is happy with his work ("My peerless bride, it is successful! You are perfect!), Georgianna dies. "My poor Aylmer…You have aimed loftily;…Do not repent that…you have rejected the best that earth has to offer. Aylmer, dearest Aylmer, I am dying.

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&#9;Is messing with nature’s intent and beauty worth the consequence? That is a question that people deal with everyday. It is true that many changes can be made without the same consequence that Geogianna ended with. A man won’t die because he has the size of his nose reduced. Nor will a woman die because she has the wrinkles that are present around her eyes removed. People have even gone so far as to changing his or her sex to just the opposite! Is this not perverse against Mother Nature? Messing with nature’s intent is a big deal. Are we, as humans, trying to play God? And why is it that we are constantly changing the look that was created just for us? Is it being unhappy with ourselves? Or is someone else unhappy with the way we look? Yes, it is possible to do these things. It is possible to change your voice or skin color. Just open your vocal shaft and stretch the chords out. And have your skin medically bleached. But why? Just because the cookie jar is left open doesn’t mean you have to eat one.


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