Commentary on The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne

745 Words Jun 22nd, 2018 3 Pages
The things in life he didn’t understand fascinated Nathaniel Hawthorne. He wrote a few stories in a literary journal called The Pioneer, one of them being “The Birthmark”. Time significantly influenced Hawthorne in creating this short story (Wheeler). Aylmer, the main character, uses the scientific experimentation throughout the story to remove the birthmark from his wife’s, Georgiana, face which results in him killing her. “The Birthmark” has attempting for perfection, the battle between science and nature, and the earthly love.
Aylmer trying to make everything in his life perfect is the dominant issue. Unfortunately, he killed his perfect wife due to an imperfection on her face. The potion he created to completely erase her “imperfect
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Everything Aylmer says relates to him striving for perfection.
Even though science is a main theme in “The Birthmark”, there is a lot having to deal with nature as well. Aylmer is talented enough to make aromas from scratch; however, he can’t make his wife live a longer life. He believes he has powers from the knowledge of science. Georgiana is the main power of natural in the story. She is so in love with her husband that she is willing to put nature aside for science. Georgiana’s birthmark has the “power” of nature to destroy everything who sees it. Aylmer asks her to pluck a flower and “the whole plant suffered a blight, its leaves turning coal-black as if by the agency of fire”(220). The beautiful Georgiana tries to get a flawless flower thinks "'It is magical!' cried Georgiana. 'I dare not touch it'" (220); instead she had caused the flower to die. Georgiana’s touch was like the flaw characteristic that all human beings had, but Aylmer wanted nothing less than perfect. Aylmer states, “there was too powerful a stimulus”(222), in which he meant that the flaw Georgiana has caused that. As the flower continues to die, Hawthorne is trying to point out that the perfect flower can’t survive if something imperfect touches it.
Aylmer tries whatever he can to “erase” Georgiana’s birthmark and this makes a person question how does love play a role in this relationship of he’s trying to remove