8 April 2016
Symbols for Everyone
In every story, poem, play, and movie symbolism is present. Symbols help the reader understand the story and their characters. Often times the symbols bring a deeper meaning to a story or poem. In The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorn there are many symbols that bring the reader to the deeper meaning of the story. This story is about a man and woman who get married. The woman is perfect except for the small birthmark on her cheek. Her husband tells her it is ugly causing her to feel ugly. She agrees to get it removed. The man is a scientist and makes an elixir to get rid of the birthmark. The serum kills the woman. The Birthmark has many symbols including, but not limiting, the birthmark, Aylmer and Aminadab, and the boudoir.
It is not hard to notice that the actual birthmark is a symbol, not only because it’s the title but because Hawthorn states it in the story. “In this manner, selecting it as a symbol of his wife’s liability to sin, sorrow, decay, and death, Aylmer’s somber imagination was not long in rendering the birthmark a frightful object, causing him more trouble and horror than ever Georgiana’s beauty, whether of soul or sense, had given him delight” (8). The birthmark represents the flaws in humanity. Throughout the story it is argued that humanity must be imperfect to be perfect. Georgiana’s birthmark is the part of humanity that is imperfect. Aylmer, the husband, thinks the birthmark is ugly and wants to remove it from Georgiana’s face. This symbolizes Aylmer wanting to rid humanity of its flaws. Consequently, he ends up killing his wife to reach perfection. When the birthmark is described, it tells that it is “deeply interwoven.” This s...
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...its flaws. The birthmark represents the flaws that society and humanity posse, and the love Georgiana and the other people represent those who accept and love these flaws. The act of Aylmer trying to rid his wife of this blemish is his way of trying to free her from her morality and ultimate death. Aylmer knows it could go wrong but continues anyway. This symbolizes the selfishness of mankind. This story symbols are the birthmark, Aylmer and Aminadab and the boudoir.
Walsh, Connor. "Aminadab in Nathaniel Hawthorne 's The Birthmark." 2009. Web. 1 Apr. 2016.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel. “The Birthmark.” Literature and the Writing Process. 10 th ed. Elizabeth McMahan, Susan X. Day, Robert Funk, and Linda Coleman. Longman. 2013. 215-225. Print.
Zanger, Jules. “Speaking of the Unspeakable: Hawthorne 's "the Birthmark"”. Modern Philology 80.4 (1983): 364–371. Web...
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