There is an immense amount of symbolism within “The Birth-Mark”; a prime example of this is the birthmark on Georgiana’s face. ‘“Georgiana," said he, "has it never occurred to you that the mark upon your cheek might be removed?"’ (Hawthorne 291). The reason Aylmer says he wants her birthmark removed is because it symbolizes mortality and thus imperfection. Aylmer believes that if he can use his potion to remove the birthmark the process will result in Georgiana becoming perfectly beautiful. 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...
... middle of paper ...
...'s liability to sin, sorrow, decay, and death...” (Hawthorne 292). The narrator explains to the reader what the crimson hand on Georgiana’s face means to Aylmer. That in Aylmer’s eyes the crimson hand means death and decay and furthermore the mortality of his wife. As a scientist and perfectionist, Aylmer feels compelled to exterminate his wife’s natural birthmark.
All in all Nathaniel Hawthorne uses symbolism, irony, and point of view within “The Birth-Mark” to portray the themes of perfection and science versus nature. Hawthorne uses symbolism in the shape of a crimson hand shaped birthmark to show Georgiana’s possible future mortality caused by science. As well as irony in his quotes that foreshadow Georgiana’s future caused by her own husband. Further on, Hawthorne utilizes a third person narrator to make sure the reader understands the abundance of symbolism
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birth-Mark” is a short story about mankind’s rocky journey for perfection. The story analyzes the relationship between Aylmer, an educated scientist, and his nearly flawless wife, Georgiana. Unfortunately, no matter how beautiful Georgiana is, Aylmer continuously strives for her to be even more beautiful regardless of consequences. Stuck on a single imperfection, Aylmer cannot look past one blemish on her face, ultimately ignoring the beauty Georgiana still has. Nathaniel Hawthorne uses symbolism, irony, and point of view within “The Birth-Mark” to portray the negative effects of gaining absolute perfection and science versus nature.... [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Short story, Narrator]
801 words (2.3 pages)
- 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]
827 words (2.4 pages)
- 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]
1215 words (3.5 pages)
- ... 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]
1431 words (4.1 pages)
- 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]
2025 words (5.8 pages)
- 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]
902 words (2.6 pages)
- 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]
729 words (2.1 pages)
- In the short story The Birth-mark, Aylmer: scientist, philosopher and perfectionist, is married to Georgiana, a woman of unthinkable beauty and possibly the closest woman to ever reach perfection. However, the tiny hand shaped mark that lay on the surface of her cheek aggravates Aylmer and he thinks day and night of how he may get rid of it in order to help Georgiana reach the perfection that he longs for. The actions that he proceeds to take, prove that he is indeed the villain and the one to blame for Georgiana’s death.... [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Short story, The Birth-Mark]
716 words (2 pages)
- 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]
1678 words (4.8 pages)
- 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]
428 words (1.2 pages)