The Birthmark By Nathaniel Hawthorne

1185 Words5 Pages
Ali Qutab
Honor American Literature
“The Birthmark” : Essay #4
December 30th, 2015

The Effect of Nature on the Scientific Ego of Aylmer

Throughout, “The Birthmark“, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, symbolism and imagery are used to show that Aylmer 's attempt to perfect something natural is the cause of Georgiana 's death and that when man manipulates something as powerful as Nature, terrible things can occur. Aylmer is a scientist whose strives for perfection and is blinded by his love for science, resulting in the death of his wife due to his attempt to overpower Nature and dispose of the birthmark on her cheek. This signifies the ultimate reality that man cannot achieve perfection by defeating Nature. Nathaniel Hawthorne 's "The Birthmark” demonstrates how the writer uses the development of characters in the story to create a better understanding of the story 's themes. In this short story, Hawthorne uses symbolism and imagery to emphasize the strange shape of the "earthly imperfection" (Hawthorne, 148), which is Georgiana’s birthmark, and his obsession in changing it. The shape of the birthmark "bore a little similarity to the human hand" (148). Hawthorne 's use of symbolism distinguishes connection between the hand like shape of the birthmark and the need to remove it by the same means; by using the human hand. In the beginning of the story, Georgiana was described as being angelic due to her beauty, but not perfect. It was implied that the birthmark
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