Following a vivid dream in which Aylmer surgically removes Georgiana’s birthmark, Aylmer assures Georgiana with extreme faith in himself that he can heal their woes by removing the birthmark. The birthmark serves as a symbol for the uncleanliness of the sin that could be in her; not that she has been terribly unrighteous, but the birthmark, like sin, is an imperfection that he wishes to purify. I think the birthmark is a part of Georgiana that Aylmer cannot understand or explain, so he condemns it as sinful. It is possible that Aylmer may feel that what man cannot fathom is not of good nature. The idea that man associates evil with things he does not understand shows the close-mindedness that humans continue to carry through to the next generations through socialization. It could be a defense mechanism that we use to avoid physical or social harm. The shape of the birthmark also adds to its sin-like nature due to the negative co...
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...ne was reared in could have given him this fear of punishment on his female relatives if they did not live up to the moral and social standards of the church; he may have even feared for their lives as he wrote about the fates of women in his two works above that did not live up to the standards of man or the congregation.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel.”The Birth-Mark.” The Norton Introduction to Literature. Ed. Kelly J. Mays. 11th ed. New York: Norton, 2013. 340-351. Print.
Huggins, Jason. “Purity Among the Essenes and the Nephelides.” Wabash. Wabash College, n.d. Web. 16 Feb. 2014
“John 8:34.” Bible: English Standard. N.p., 2001. OpenBible. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.
“Matthew 5:30.” Bible: English Standard. N.p., 2001. OpenBible. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.
“Nathaniel Hawthorne – Biography.” The European Graduate School. The European Graduate School, n.d. Web. 17 Feb. 2014
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