Archetypes in Frankenstien and the Birthmark

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The novel Frankenstein was written by Mary Shelly in 1818, since then the story has become a classic archetype. The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne, follows this archetype. Although The Birthmark and Frankenstein are not identical both stories have similar archetypal characters and share similar themes of abused power and redemption. The Frankenstein archetype requires three types of characters: a obsessive, mad scientist, a pure kind feminine presents and a monster, both sympathetic and ruthless. Although the characters from the birthmark are not carbon copies of the characters in Frankenstein they share similar personality traits and experiences. Both works have at least one Madonna like woman who is pure and good through out her…show more content…
Aylmer too is a man of science. Although Aylmer was married to a beautiful he was still completely committed to his science; “Aylmer appeared to believe that, by the plainest scientific logic, it was altogether within the limits of possibility to discover this long- sought medium.” Hawthorn,342. Soon after his wedding Aylmer became fixated on his wife’s birthmark, so much so that it made him physically sick when he saw it. This fixation combined with an obsessed with the notion of creating miracles led Aylmer to convince his bride to let him remove her birthmark himself: "doubt not my power. I have already given this matter the deepest thought--thought which might almost have enlightened me to create a being less perfect than yourself. Georgiana, you have led me deeper than ever into the heart of science. I feel myself fully competent to render this dear cheek as faultless as its fellow; and then, most beloved, what will be my triumph when I shall have corrected what Nature left imperfect in her fairest work! Even Pygmalion, when his sculptured woman assumed life, felt not greater ecstasy than mine will be." Hawthorn 340. Aylmer’s creation, or attempt at creation, causes Georgiana to die in his arms. Both men are noble and good intentioned, but seem to lose all sense of balance. Both men are dedicated to science so much so that they ignore the needs of the loving, beautiful women in their lives. Ultimately it is this unbalance between science

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