Dark Romanticism Essay

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The Nature of Women and the Science of Men
Dark romanticism is a sub-genre of gothic literature. It is a genre of writing that focuses on exciting fear, focuses on human fallibility, and portrays nature as a force greater than any man could imagine. One of the most famous writers of dark romanticism is Nathaniel Hawthorne. However, Nathaniel Hawthorne 's writings are much more than simple stories from the dark romantic period. Hawthorne 's short stories "The Birthmark", and "Rappachini 's Daughter" are stories that depict man’s arrogance, their pursuit of perfection through science, and how in the end nature triumphs over man. Both "the Birthmark" and "Rappachinnis Daughter" share a similar storyline and similar characters. In "the Birthmark"
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In “the Birthmark” Georgiana is a new housewife with her husband Alamer. When Alamer notices the birthmark on Georgiana’s cheek he becomes repulsed and disgusted. When Alamer first offers to remove the birthmark with science she refuses, "To tell you the truth it has been so often called a charm that I was simple enough to imagine it might be so." (Birthmark). Although, soon after she witnesses further the disgust her birthmark causes her husband she agrees full heartedly saying, “Danger is nothing to me; for life, while this hateful mark makes me the object of your horror and disgust, — life is a burden which I would fling down with joy. Either remove this dreadful hand, or take my wretched life!” (Birthmark). Georgiana, at first, is highly against the idea of removing her mark, however she is so dependent upon what her husband thinks of her that eventually she is willing to remove the mark even if it costs her health and wellbeing. Even though it is stated that Georgiana has had lovers before who thought of her as beautiful despite the birthmark, she is still dependent upon what her husband thinks of her. In the article “Hawthorne’s, The Birthmark: Science and Romance as Belief” by Barbara Eckstein, it is explained how Georgiana is presented as a passive and obedient wife and she is willing to allow Alamer to tinker with her very nature through science because she believes he is doing so out of love. She is a willing participant because she believes it is what she must do to be a good wife. Similarly in “Rappaccinis Daughter” the woman Beatrice possesses a flaw that her lover tries to eradicate with science. Although, Beatrice’s flaw is not as harmless as Georgiana’s, because Beatrice’s flaw is her poisonous nature. Beatrice became poisonous through her father’s scientific research with poisonous plants, and when Giovanni sees her in the “garden of Eden” her
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