Too often in this world does man attempt to perfect nature. Tampering with this sort of element most commonly leads to a disaster to come extent. Because man is never satisfied, he is constantly vying for perfection, regardless of the outcome. Such is the case in Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story, 'The Birthmark.' Aylmer's persistent attempt to perfect nature is the cause of Georgiana's demise and the affirmation that when man tampers with such a powerful component terrible things may occur.
In this short story, Hawthorne uses symbolism to emphasize the strange shape of the 'earthly imperfection' (204) and his desperate need to change it. The shape of the birthmark 'bore a little similarity to the human hand' (204). Here, Hawthorne?s use of symbolism clearly illustrates a distinct connection between the shape of the birthmark as a human hand and the need to remove it by the same means. In Aylmer?s quest for perfection, he simply ignores the fact that he is tampering with an incredible force: Nature. The ?crimson hand? (206) symbolizes man always trying to change something natural: something that need not be changed. Aylmer?s subconscious obsession with science quickly becomes apparent when he realizes that he has the knowledge to potentially change something that nature has brought. At one point in the story Aylmer becomes so infatuated with removing this birthmark he dreams about how he will do so. He goes a...
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The things in life he didn’t understand fascinated Nathaniel Hawthorne. He wrote a few stories in a literary journal called The Pioneer, one of them being “The Birthmark”. Time significantly influenced Hawthorne in creating this short story (Wheeler). Aylmer, the main character, uses the scientific experimentation throughout the story to remove the birthmark from his wife’s, Georgiana, face which results in him killing her. “The Birthmark” has attempting for perfection, the battle between science and nature, and the earthly love.... [tags: Imperfections, Scar, Marriage]
754 words (2.2 pages)
- A perfect person does not obsess, does not fail, does not sin, and does not exist. The whole universe is imperfect. We fall, rise, and learn. Imperfections are traits that characterized human beings. Flaws make us mortals and imperfect, and we must accept them as part of who we are. Because of our humanity, we cannot change the course of life or actions of our nature. Most of the time, we think of our flaws and imperfections as things we want to get rid of but instead, we must see them as divine gifts of what God gave us.... [tags: puritans, utopia, perfection]
1212 words (3.5 pages)
- ﻿ A Story of Love and Science A Story of Love and Science Nathaniel Hawthorne is a nineteenth century American Novelist whose works are deeply concerned with the ethical problems of sin, punishment, and atonement (Adams 168). The New England writer also handles the romantic theme very well and is a master of historical fiction. Hawthorne was a descendant of one of the judges at the Salem witch trials, and he set many of his works in Puritan New England and during early crises in American history (Encarta).... [tags: essays research papers fc]
1141 words (3.3 pages)
- Nathaniel Hawthorne's best known short stories including Young Goodman Brown, The Minister's Black Veil, and The Birthmark, should be considered some of the great works of American literature because their exploration of enduring American themes of moral struggle. The short stories demonstrate a masterful command of symbolism and allegory. Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts in 1804. Descended from a staunch Puritan family, Hawthorne?s father was a presiding judge over the Salem Witch Trials.... [tags: essays research papers]
1068 words (3.1 pages)
- It is hard to say that one is human and perfect at the same time. Human beings are not capable of achieving perfection; if that would be so, humans would stop being humans. By nature the human race is full of flaws, some appearing as early as in the womb. From defects in the body, to defects in the mind, to the mistakes that one makes in quotidian life, it is impossible to deny that human imperfection exists. To try to manipulate humans into perfection is not only impossible, but it takes away the very essence of being a human being.... [tags: The Birthmark]
900 words (2.6 pages)
- Analysis of The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne Although “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne was written in the mid-1800s, its themes and ideas are still a part of society today. The 19th century was a time of change, just as this, the millennium, is a time of great change. Hawthorne’s ideas about science, beauty, and life still play a major part in our lives, despite many improvements. Even today, people try to play “God” and change things that nature has put in place. It’s human curiosity; how much can be changed, how many things can be perfected.... [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne The Birthmark Essays]
860 words (2.5 pages)
- The Psychological Dimension of “The Birthmark” This essay will analyze Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark” in order to demonstrate that it is a “psychological” short story both in its themes and in its emphasis on the moral-psychological aspect of the main characters. There is probably unanimity among literary critics that Hawthorne is a “psychological” writer. Consider some of their statements chosen at random from various critiques of Hawthorne’s literary works: Stanley T. Williams in “Hawthorne’s Puritan Mind” says: What he wrote of New England was .... [tags: Birthmark, Nathaniel Hawthorne]
3155 words (9 pages)
- Our society tends to be obsessed with the idea of physical perfection. How does our society manifest that obsession. How is the "Birthmark" an early version of our modern obsession with physical perfection. Our society has many ways of manifesting its obsession with physical perfection. In our society people go to extreme lengths to achieve perfection. The "Birthmark", written more than a century ago, is an early version of our modern obsession with physical perfection.... [tags: Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Birthmark]
390 words (1.1 pages)
- Ambiguity of “The Birthmark” There are numerous instances of ambiguity in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark”; this essay hopes to explore critics’ comments on that problem within the tale, as well as to analyze it from this reader’s standpoint. In New England Men of Letters Wilson Sullivan relates Hawthorne’s usage of opposites in his tales: He sought, in Hamlet’s telling words to his palace players, “to hold the mirror up to nature,” and to report what he saw in that mirror.... [tags: Birthmark Essays]
3228 words (9.2 pages)
- Scientific research concerning living organisims is usually beneficial. Most medical practices are beneficial; they are done to cure people from illness and to save people's lives. The only time when science borders on going too far is when it is used to alter people or animals -- for instance changing the genes of a fly to give it eyes on its legs. Making mutants like that violates the sanctity of life, and although it is condonable for research with flies, to do something similar to humans would be beyond comprehension.... [tags: Birthmark Essays]
578 words (1.7 pages)