Essay about Hawthorne and "The Birthmark": No Judgment Intended

Essay about Hawthorne and "The Birthmark": No Judgment Intended

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Since the beginning of time, people have lived by the expression, or at least heard

From their mother’s, that “no one should judge another based on physical attributes.”

“The Birthmark,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne gives its reader an important example of this

worldly known moral. In “The Birthmark,” Hawthorne uses characterization, a foil

character, hyperbole, a dramatic setting, imagery and a huge tragedy in order to display the

judgment morality of his main character, Aylmer.
Hawthorne goes into every detail possible about his characters, Georgiana and
her husband, Alymer. He does not go too much into detail about Amindab, because most
of the story is based on Alymer and Georgiana. For example, “He had devoted himself,
however, too reservedly to scientific studies ever to be weaned from the, by any second
passion” (Hawthorne 649). Through this statement in the story, Hawthorne describes
Aylmer as a mad scientist who seemingly only cares about his studies, not having any
time in his life to occupy anything else. Throughout the rest of the story, he continues
to describe Aylmer not only through descriptions but also through his actions and
thoughts. “No, indeed,” said she, smiling; but perceiving the seriousness of his manner,
she blushed deeply. “To tell the truth it has been so often called a charm that I was
simple enough to imagine it might be so” (649). Hawthorne definitely characterizes Georgiana
as a noble wife; calm and respective towards her husband. Through the way she speaks to her
husband and her actions truly show how dedicated she is to her husband. She basically knows
the whole time that her life is in complete danger because of the removal of her birthmark, bu...

... middle of paper ... attributes, such as Aylmer did with

Georgiana’s birthmark. “The momentary circumstance was too strong for him; he failed

to look beyond the shadowy scope of time, and, living once for all in eternity, to find the

perfect future in the present” (659-660). This quote explains that Aylmer was too

focused on his future with his wife without her birthmark to realize that with her

birthmark, she would still be alive. No one should have to result in death in order to

please another person, who in the first place, did not care enough to take them as they are.

Works Cited

1. Bausch, Richard, and R. V. Cassill. The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. 7th ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2006. Print.
2. Hawthorne. “The Birthmark.” The Norton Anthology of Short Fiction. R.V. Cassill, Richard Bausch. 7th ed. New York: W.W. Norton, 2006. 648-660.

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