Science vs. Nature as a Means of Obtaining Perfection in The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Good Essays
Although we may mask our insecurities with false confidence and bravado, deep down most people crave perfection. As the majority of us learn as we age, this idea of “perfection” is unobtainable. The older we get, the more we tend to accept the flaws and imperfections that make us individuals. However, there are others who never learn the hard lesson of acceptance. Instead they spend ridiculous amounts of money on surgeries, creams and concoctions in order to rid themselves of these marks and insecurities. It’s a constant battle, a fork in the road if you may, between science and nature. On one side there’s the high-road of nature and acceptance, and on the other there’s the scientific shortcut that, in reality, just continues to mask the original problem. The Birthmark leads us to believe that this is perhaps a topic Hawthorne struggled with himself. Hawthorne clearly displays his decided distaste for science and its unnatural ways in his short story, The Birthmark.
Aylmer, the main character of the story, is a brilliant scientist/alchemist. He possesses a belief in "man's ultimate control over nature", and thinks there is nothing man can't overcome (Harun). His obsession with his wife Georgiana’s small birth mark, which resembles a hand, begins after they’re married. Aylmer is fixated with the idea of Georgiana's perfection; he believes that in order for him to experience perfect love, he must have a perfect woman to love (Norman). His obsession and distaste gradually wear
    Get Access