The Birthmark By Nathaniel Hawthorne

1493 Words Jun 9th, 2016 6 Pages
Romantic period authors, like Nathaniel Hawthorne, a prevalent example of a Romantic author from the 19th century, believed that people were getting too reliant on on science. Romantics were literary rebels who wrote about strong emotions, the supernatural, and the power of nature. The writing style of the previous century was known as the Age of Reason, the authors thought emotion was unnecessary; they loved science and wrote a lot of non-fiction. The romantics wanted to remind people that there was nothing more powerful than human emotion and nothing more beautiful than nature. According to Jules Zanger, Hawthorne’s short story, “suggests his resistance to the expansive materialism of America 's new technology as well as to the excessive spirituality of its philosophers.” The short story, “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne articulates the obsession with human perfection through symbols, characters’, and narrator.
Aylmer, a man devoted entirely to his science, marries Georgiana, a beautiful young woman with a single “earthly imperfection” (291). This imperfection is in resemblance of a tiny “crimson hand” (292) and is clearly visible on the left cheek of Georgiana. The hand is often associated with the power and the strength of Divinity or God. In the Old Testament, in particular, the hand of the Lord represents “God in the wholeness of his power and instrumentality" (Chevalier and Brant 466). Furthermore, the birthmark itself is both a symbol for the downfall of…
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