A Comparative Analysis of the Concepts of Science and Nature in Nathaniel Hawthorne's 'The Birthmark' and 'Rappaccini's Daughter'
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Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Birthmark" and "Rappaccini's Daughter" both address the concepts of science and nature and the conflicts that the two typically generate. The protagonists in both stories feel that it is essential for them to do something in order to improve the persons they love. Moreover, they appear to consider that they actually want to help the persons they love instead of actually helping themselves by doing so. The women in the two stories focus on being as good as they can possibly be in order for their lovers to appreciate them, but these men want science to interfere and remove any type of problems that they discover in the women that they love.
Aylmer, the protagonist in "The Birthmark" was a successful scientist and philosopher previous to marrying Georgiana, as he preferred to abandon his background in order to provide his wife with everything she needed in order to feel loved. Science actually seemed to be worth nothing when compared to Georgiana, and even though Aylmer paid great respect to his background, he would rather focus on his wife. "His love for his young wife might prove the stronger of the two; but it could only be by intertwining itself with his love of science, and uniting the strength of the latter to his own" (Hawthrone). While it seems that Aylmer is happy with his condition consequent to marrying Georgiana, it is gradually revealed that he is unable to abandon his love for science. He encounters a significant problem as he comes