Essay on The Birth Mark By Nathaniel Hawthorne

Essay on The Birth Mark By Nathaniel Hawthorne

Length: 827 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In the short story, “The Birth-Mark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, we get to experience the lengths of which someone will go to achieve perfection. But, in the case of this story, this perfection is not a goal for themselves but in someone else. Aylmer is a highly respected man that has delved into many regions of science and his wife, Georgiana, would be considered a classically ideal woman except for one thing, the birth-mark that stains her left cheek. Aylmer’s obsession with his wife’s perfection leads the couple down a very dangerous path intermingling loving devotion and the misuse of science for one’s selfish desires.
Aylmer is a man obsessed with science, plain and simple. For some short time when he wasn’t cooped up in his laboratory, he met Georgiana, fell in love with her, and the two were wed. Their love fell short next to his love for science in which he devoted most of his time to. His extensive knowledge of science intermingled with his obsession for perfection which managed to make it’s way into his marriage. He sees Georgiana as an object that falls short of perfection, “No, dearest Georgiana, you came so nearly perfect from the hand of Nature that this slightest possible defect, which we hesitate whether to term a defect or a beauty, shocks me, as being the visible mark of earthly imperfection." (Hawthorne 212). I believe that Aylmer views Georgiana as an object to experiment on and he exploits the fact that she is in love with him in order to get his own way. He cares not for what she wants or what she is comfortable with. He is a selfish man who only thinks of his own desires and says that Georgiana has lead him deeper into the heart of science. She is manipulated by Aylmer to find the once charming birthmark on her...


... middle of paper ...


...e may be in denial about his own failures, in order to see an unmarked face. His need takes the soul out of Georgiana, a once lively and confident girl.
In modern times, this still happens in cases where a husband may not find his wife’s breasts to be big enough so he may pressure her into getting a breast augmentation. Although these two things may be completely different, the control for perfection in another human being is still the underlying cause of these behaviors. Aylmer not only kills his wife to pursue his own needs, he breaks her down in the process. He not only kills her in one way but in two, he kills her soul and he kills her body. Some may argue that she could’ve left but she loved him and that ended up to be her ultimate downfall. To please a man like Aylmer will never be enough to keep him satisfied, he will pick and pick until there is nothing left.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on The Birth Mark By Nathaniel Hawthorne

- ... Aylmer believes that when she becomes aesthetically perfect she will be granted eternal life. Aylmer’s utter hatred towards the birthmark symbolizes his fear of death. Furthermore, hand-shaped birthmark disappears when she blushes, however, when she is pale or surprised the birthmark stands out. The narrator states “As he led her over the threshold of the laboratory, Georgiana was cold and tremulous. Aylmer looked cheerfully into her face, with intent to reassure her, but was so startled with the intense glow of the birthmark upon the whiteness of her cheek that he could not restrain a strong convulsive shudder” (Hawthorne 294)....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Short story, Narrator]

Better Essays
801 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on The Birth Mark By Nathaniel Hawthorne

- In the short story, “The Birth-Mark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, we get to experience the lengths of which someone will go to achieve perfection. But, in the case of this story, this perfection is not a goal for themselves but in someone else. Aylmer is a highly respected man that has delved into many regions of science and his wife, Georgiana, would be considered a classically ideal woman except for one thing, the birth-mark that stains her left cheek. Aylmer’s obsession with his wife’s perfection leads the couple down a very dangerous path intermingling loving devotion and the misuse of science for one’s selfish desires....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Short story, Perfection]

Better Essays
827 words (2.4 pages)

The Birth Mark By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

- Nathaniel Hawthorne (born July 4, 1804, Salem, Mass. — died May 19, 1864, Plymouth, NH) is an American novelist and short-story writer who was an expert of the allegorical and symbolic story. One of the best fiction essayists in American writing, he is best known for "The Scarlet Letter" (1850) and "The House of the Seven Gables" (1851). "The Birth-Mark" is a mental thriller short story composed by Nathaniel Hawthorne. (Reference book Britannica. 2016) It was distributed first in 1843 in the March version of The Pioneer literary journal....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Short story, The Old Manse]

Better Essays
1215 words (3.5 pages)

Nature in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Birth-Mark and Wilfred Owens" Disabled

- ... Both of the stories use nature to make a valid point. Nathaniel Hawthorne uses nature to talk about his wife’s birth-mark. Aylmer thinks his wife birth-mark is interrupting the nature of man. Similar to the poem Disabled, the poet believes that war interrupts nature. For example, when people think of the sun, the sun helps facilitates man’s growth. The sun is a force that guides the universe. The poet believes that war disrupts nature's concern with life and death. Nature needs to take its course in the world....   [tags: Concern, Birthmark, Perfection]

Better Essays
1431 words (4.1 pages)

The Absolute Power of Men in a Patriarchal Society Essay

-   The time setting of the short story “The Birth-Mark” was the eighteenth century, a quite difficult era for the lives of women. In a journal published by Helga Madland, it was mentioned “Since the Graeco-Roman period, women had been perceived as inferior to males in the social hierarchy;..”(pg167). The low status of women in the society has been a big issue in the eighteenth century as reflected in the story “The Birth-Mark” written by Nathaniel Hawthorne. In this story, the unevenly distributed power between male and female eventually result in tragedy of women....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Birth Mark]

Better Essays
2025 words (5.8 pages)

Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Rappaccini 's Daughter And The Birth Mark Essay

- Microcosm and allusion are both exceedingly important in writing even today, and Nathaniel Hawthorne was able to execute this greatly in many of his short stories. In this essay we will be focussing on two of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short stories, “Rappaccini’s Daughter” and “The Birth-Mark”, in which there is a multitude of examples of both microcosm and allusions. In “Rappaccini’s Daughter” the main microcosm is that Rappaccini’s garden represents the garden of Eden. Nathaniel Hawthorne presents this both literally and figuratively within the text....   [tags: Short story, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Garden of Eden]

Better Essays
902 words (2.6 pages)

Nathaniel Hawthorne 's Rappaccini 's Daughter And The Birth Mark Essay

- Microcosm and allusion are both exceedingly important in writing even today, and Nathaniel Hawthorne was able to execute this greatly in many of his short stories. In this essay we will be focussing on two of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short stories, “Rappaccini’s Daughter” and “The Birth-Mark”, in which there are a multitude of examples of both microcosm and allusions. In “Rappaccini’s Daughter” the main microcosm is that Rappaccini’s garden represents the garden of Eden. Nathaniel Hawthorne presents this both literally and figuratively within the text....   [tags: Short story, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Garden of Eden]

Better Essays
729 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on The Birth Mark, By William Golding

- ... He calmly says to her, “You came so nearly perfect from the hand of nature, that this slightest possible defect, which we hesitate whether to term a defect or a beauty, shocks me, as being the visible mark of earthly imperfection.” (Hawthorne 291) Words can be life changing and affect a person in countless ways, even to the point of death. When Aylmer tells Georgiana that her so called “beauty” mark is in fact an “earthly imperfection”, she is immediately affected and overcome with a thought that had never occurred to her in all her life....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Short story, The Birth-Mark]

Better Essays
716 words (2 pages)

Symbols Of The Birthmark By Nathaniel Hawthorn Essay

- Miranda Kellerhals ENG: 13091 Fiction Analysis 8 April 2016 Symbols for Everyone In every story, poem, play, and movie symbolism is present. Symbols help the reader understand the story and their characters. Often times the symbols bring a deeper meaning to a story or poem. In The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorn there are many symbols that bring the reader to the deeper meaning of the story. This story is about a man and woman who get married. The woman is perfect except for the small birthmark on her cheek....   [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Symbol, The Birth-Mark]

Better Essays
1678 words (4.8 pages)

The Belief in Oneself to Change Nature in Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Birth-Mark"

- Hawthorne's "The Birth-Mark" deals with the discrepancy between the strength of nature and the strength of science. Hawthorne's protagonist, Alymer, represents the world of science, whereas the strength of nature is represented by the birth-mark on Alymer's wife Georgiana's face. Alymer becomes obsessed with her birth-mark and, using his scientific knowledge, attempts to remove it. In this essay, I will show that Alymer's obsession results from his scientifically influenced way of thinking in categories, and also from his arrogant perfectionism, two character traits which are shown in this excerpt from the text....   [tags: American Literature]

Free Essays
428 words (1.2 pages)