The Birthmark Symbolism

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The Mortal of the Story

By looking at symbolism in The Birthmark, the reader can interpret that the birthmark is a symbol for imperfection and mortality which is not obvious to most people. This is important because it turns the birthmark into something all readers can relate to since no one is perfect. Georgiana’s birthmark was “the fatal flaw of humanity which Nature, in one shape or another, stamps ineffaceably on all her productions” (Hawthorne 12). As stated before, nothing is perfect, Nature has a flaw on everything and Georgiana’s was her birthmark. Her husband, Aylmer, notices the birthmark and also sees it as an imperfection even though other men would often tell her it was a charm. “No, dearest Georgiana, you came so nearly perfect from the hand of Nature that this slightest possible defect, which we hesitate whether to term a defect or a beauty, shocks me, as being the visible mark of earthly imperfection” (Hawthorne 11). Aylmer at first is the only one, other from jealous women, to point out her birthmark as an imperfection but his constant talk began to make her believe she was in fact flawed. This is important because it ultimately leads to the death of Georgiana.
Once Georgiana also begins to view her birthmark as an imperfection, just like Aylmer does, she begins to hate it and demands it be removed. “’Remove it, remove it, whatever be the cost, or we shall both go mad!’” (Hawthorne 21). Georgiana is sacrificing everything she can in order for this birthmark to be removed, even death. Aylmer warns her of the dangers of performing such a surgery but she refuses to think it over and believes she is “most fit to die” (Hawthorne 21). Of all mortals, she believes that she has reached her potential in the world and there is no more use for her on the world unless she is perfect, with no birthmark and no imperfections.
Although her and Aylmer hate the birthmark, some of her past lovers and some readers might view it as unique, possibly as a symbol for her personality. The birthmark is something that separates her from others and makes her stand out, probably why all of the women hate her birthmark, they are jealous of her uniqueness. But Aylmer can’t help but to focus on the birthmark and it’s
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