Character Analysis : ' The Birthmark ' Essay

Character Analysis : ' The Birthmark ' Essay

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Character Analysis: "The Birthmark"
Nathaniel Hawthorne did not do much explaining when it came to the characters involved in "The Birthmark". He did not portray the main characters: Aylmer, Georgiana, and Ambidab as human beings, but rather as symbols. While analyzing the story "The Birthmark", I have achieved some great insight of the author 's articulate writing style; especially, his style of making characters have symbolic meaning. In this story, Hawthorne uses his characters to symbolize specific things. In this ambiguous, short story, the three characters each symbolize Science, Beauty, and Nature. Each character represents an unusual force that has equally worked against each other.
Aylmer is the mastermind of this entire story. Aylmer is a devoted scientist that believes he can achieve miracles with his extraordinary science abilities. Aylmer even goes as far as saying that he can achieve eternal life by drinking a potion that he has created. His wife, Georgiana, bares a birthmark on her cheek. Aylmer starts beginning to question himself on how the birthmark can be removed to show his wife 's indefinite perfection. The thing Aylmer doesn 't understand is the birthmark is a part of Georgiana 's beauty. However, a dreadful dream makes Aylmer believe the birthmark is evil and should be removed. "I know not what may be the cost to both of us to rid me of this fatal birthmark. Perhaps its removal may cause cureless deformity; or it may be the stain goes as deep as life itself" Georgiana stated (Hawthorne 335). That citation openly predicts the future. Aylmer, being a devoted scientist, does an unthinkable act. Aylmer tries to eradicate a beauty mark that God has embarked upon his wife. Aylmer remarks, "...And then, most be...


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...aughter from Aminadab symbolizes that Nature has won the battle with Science. The battle between Nature and Science strung poor Georgiana and her endless beauty along, and eventually ended in her death.
To conclude, Nathaniel Hawthorne uses Aylmer, Georgiana, and Aminadab to show a symbolic relationship. The symbolic relationship includes Aylmer as Science, Georgiana as Beauty, and Aminadab as Nature. Hawthorne shows how the battle between Science and Nature exist, but shows that Nature usually always wins. I suppose that Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote this story due to the time. When Hawthorne began writing "The Birthmark", the scientific method was being hyped about. People of that time began to think that Science could take you wherever. I believe Hawthorne wrote this story to show that Science doesn 't always have the answer; sometimes we should let Nature be.



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