The Theme Of Religious Themes In The Birthmark By Nathaniel Hawthorne

Decent Essays
Many of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s works have very religious themes and overtones. His short story “The Birthmark” is no different. In this short story, many religious analogies are present. Hawthorne uses characterization, symbolism, and theme to make various statements about Christianity and sin. His characters can be seen as the two main figures in Christianity, God and Jesus. There are also many symbols in the story that have religious ties and connections. There are several themes present in the story that may give the reader insight into Hawthorne’s religious views. All of these elements lend themselves to analysis with a spiritual focus.
The two main characters of “The Birthmark” are Alymer, an intelligent yet arrogant scientist; and his wife, Georgiana, a beautiful, selfless woman with only one flaw, a birthmark on her cheek. Alymer believes that science can solve any problem. He also seems to think that he can use science to fix what most Christians would see as God’s perfect creation: Georgiana’s birthmark. Alymer sees himself as a god of sorts, and shows this when he “attempts to improve on nature” (Ellis 33). He is loving, but very controlling and sees himself as the highest power, much like God. His arrogance eventually becomes his downfall, because he is so confident in his ability to “fix” Georgiana that he ends up killing his wife, the most important thing in his life, except science. Georgiana however, is the exact opposite. Georgiana is the
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