The Birthmark By Nathaniel Hawthorne

923 Words Sep 25th, 2015 4 Pages
In Nathaniel Hawthorne 's “The Birthmark”, we find the tragic story of a woman named Georgiana who sacrificed her life for the sake of appeasing her husband, Aylmer. What did Georgiana do that it was more favorable for her to die than to continuing to displease her husband? Georgiana, who was otherwise hailed as incomparably beautiful, had a birthmark on her face. Aylmer desired this to remove this birthmark, which he considered the one thing keeping her from being “perfect”, from her face. In an attempt to remedy his wife’s “imperfection”, Aylmer makes an elixir for her to drink. While this elixir successfully removes the birthmark, the same elixir also causes Georgiana to die soon after. This story brings to light several examples of how society belittles women and puts their desires below the desires of men.
Upon realizing just how much his wife’s birthmark bothered him, Aylmer made it his goal to do whatever was necessary to rid Georgiana of her only “imperfection”. While this story is a work of fiction, the way of thinking is anything but fictional. With the gender dynamic in this story in very centered around the man. The man is the one who makes the decisions, and the woman is expected to go along with them. If the man wants something of the wife, she is expected to do everything in her power to satisfy him. The woman, on the other hand, is often heavily pressured into submitting to this kind of unhealthy relationship. Whether she is blinded by love, afraid of what…
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