The Birthmark By Nathaniel Hawthorne

1889 WordsApr 20, 20178 Pages
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark” was written in 1843, a time in which the world was beginning to become more understanding of science and its ability to possibly alter the course of certain aspects in life, such as nature. “The Birthmark” is a work of literature that displays this idea as well as any other work written in this time period. It clearly presents that Aylmer, one of the main characters in “The Birthmark,” is one of the members of society that believes science can change the course that nature has taken. This mentality is the main source of conflict in “The Birthmark” because Aylmer is determined to remove a birthmark from the cheek of his wife, Georgiana. Among Aylmer’s obsession with the removal of Georgiana’s birthmark…show more content…
He is still determined to remove the birthmark even after his wife has told him she does not wish to have it removed. This displays a clear difference in the sense of morals between Aylmer and Georgiana. Aylmer’s obsession with countering nature eventually proved fatal to Georgiana and it took her life. “The parting breathe of the now perfect woman passed into the atmosphere” (Hawthorne 376). His overwhelming desire to fix his wife’s birthmark is a sign that his morals are severely out of place in comparison to those of other men in the short story. Many of the other men represented the other side of perception concerning the birthmark. They believed it was a sign of natural beauty and would have given anything to be with Georgiana. Whereas Aylmer believed it was a curse and that it had to be removed immediately. Hawthorne’s message to the reader regarding Aylmer’s outlook on nature is that the power of nature is stronger than anything that may put a test to it, specifically science. He also makes it apparent that the removal of one’s morals to satisfy the need for perfection will be costly. This is proven throughout the story as Aylmer’s determination to remove the birthmark grows stronger and stronger but eventually fails: This tale brings up a number of issues, including the nature of love as well as the morality, or lack thereof, behind human experimentation. Aylmer
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