The Birthmark Is More Than A Blemish

1727 Words Mar 29th, 2016 7 Pages
The Birthmark is More Than a Blemish
According to the Oxford Dictionaries, nature is “the phenomena of the physical world collectively, including plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans or human creations” (“Nature”; emphasis added). The primary definition asserts that nature is a separate and opposing entity from mankind. In spite of this, humans have acted with a sense of ownership over nature for centuries, depleting, manipulating and polluting the natural world. This human interaction with nature is depicted in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, "The Birth Mark”. Using allegory and symbolism, Hawthorne illustrates the stain that humanity places on nature’s purity. A relationship between a man and a woman serves as an allegory for the relationship between mankind and nature, a discrepancy in an otherwise beautiful woman represents the human impact, contrasting rooms symbolize the divinity of nature and the impurity of humanity, and the death of a woman serves as a caution for what is to become of mankind’s actions.
In “The Birth Mark” Aylmer and his wife Georgiana allegorize mankind and nature. In one aspect, the dichotomy of man and woman appropriately symbolizes the dichotomy of mankind and nature. In contemporary society, “the distinction between male and female and masculinity and femininity continues to polarize relations between the sexes…” (Knights 430). This is similar to the way in which the human race…

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