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The story’s tone is one of romantic controversy, a dilemma at a high level of existence. The scientist’s love for his craft competes very intensively with his newfound love for his wife. It is also very psychological, strictly dealing with the raw mind of its subjects as if the ominous narrator told the story from inside their mind, rather than observe it from the outside. He describes the processes that one may take to reach a certain degree of knowledge and to find the elixir of life, which is described in this story as the ultimate goal of the scientific community. Also, the narrator is very opinionated about events in the story.
Georgiana is a fine wife, and a seemingly beautiful one, too. Aylmer expresses deep affection towards his wife, but it is hinted from the beginning that his two passions in life will eventually have to come in conflict. The meaning of the birthmark shifts suddenly in the end, but in the beginning, it is viewed as Georgiana’s ability to be imperfect and to sin. It is in the shape of a human hand because an angel supposedly has a grip on her, linking her to the other world. That is most men’s reactions, but some women viewed it as disastrous to her beauty. Although Aylmer is not initially concerned with it, it eventually gets to him, obsessively occupying himself with it. He would stare at it whenever he had a chance, and tried to be candid about it. When it became apparent that Aylmer was quite concerned with this, Georgiana asked him to elaborate. He was more disgusted by the mark than Georgiana assessed. Her most significant reply to him was “You cannot love what shocks you!”
She is indeed compromising, offering her life in exchange for her husband’s contempt. The bandwagon effect modifies Georgiana’s thinking towards the mark. She then becomes critical of it, begging her husband to remove it in the name of their well being. He devises a plan, and he compares himself to Pygmalion, because he is one historical figure that succeeded in his quest for beauty, and the gods approved of it. I think that this meddling will not be readily approved of by any god. What they did not know, but what she hinted at, was that this mark may be her link to life and spirits.
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"Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Birthmark: Understanding The Birthmark." 123HelpMe.com. 17 Jul 2018
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In the laboratory, it is obvious that Aylmer is obsessed with creating perfection. The many things flashed before Georgiana’s eyes mildly interested her. The flower presented, I think, is symbolic of his inability to maintain perfect objects. The flower quickly dissipated before their eyes. He made mistakes, and this should have been a sign to Georgiana that she should not trust his ability or his plan.
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