Aylmer, the protagonist, in “The Birthmark” becomes selfish as a result of his obsession to remove a miniscule birthmark from his beautiful wife’s face in order to achieve perfection. As a consequence of a small and distinct birthmark on his wife’s left cheek, Aylmer frightened, thinks the birthmark is evil that symbolizes sorrow, decay, and death. Although, the birthmark is benign and harmless, that only denotes the flaws that nature has left on a human being, to Aylmer it represents his wife's imperfection, which needs to be fixed and extracted. As a result of attempting to remove the birthmark in order to achieve perfection, Aylmer blinds himself and does not think of the consequences. He dreams of the fatal outcome th...
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...efuse to accept that humans are imperfect leads them to their ultimate downfall. We must accept the things we cannot change. Human beings sin because we are not perfect; we have flaws that nobody can change or remove. We can always improve to be better, but never change human nature to be perfect. Extreme feelings become obsessions and obsessions can become painfully obvious that influence to fatal outcomes. At the end, negative reactions to personal acts and behaviors can become a regret of guilt.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “The Birthmark.” The Compact Bedford Introduction to
Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer. 10th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014. 333-343. Print.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “The Minister’s Black Veil.” The Compact Bedford Introduction
to Literature. Ed. Michael Meyer. 10th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014. 324-332. Print.
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