Solitude/Isolation in “The Birthmark” and in Hawthorne’s Life
In the Nathaniel Hawthorne tale, “The Birthmark,” we see and feel the solitude/isolation of the scientist, Aylmer, in his laboratory; also of Georgiana in the totally separated lab apartment; also of Aminadab, who lives by himself in a room off of the laboratory. Are these examples of solitude not a reflection of the very life of the author?
According to A.N. Kaul in his Introduction to Hawthorne – A Collection
Sometimes, man is too eager to repair natural imperfections that may exist using science, rather than seeing these imperfections as beautiful natural occurrences, which will eventually lead to the destruction of nature. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark,” it appears that Aylmer the main character wants to show the world that perfection is not beauty, and he demonstrates this with his wife Georgiana and that science should not alter the way that nature set man on this world to be. Hawthorne was a
Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Birthmark" and "Rappaccini's Daughter" both address the concepts of science and nature and the conflicts that the two typically generate. The protagonists in both stories feel that it is essential for them to do something in order to improve the persons they love. Moreover, they appear to consider that they actually want to help the persons they love instead of actually helping themselves by doing so. The women in the two stories focus on being as good as they can possibly
Hawthorne 's books are inspired and fascinate to read. They are full of science fiction and tail of fantasies. The female characters have to face many challenges in their lives due to their natures. The human morals and man ambition are clear in "The Birthmark" and "Rappaccini 's Daughter" on which the two stories are similar in away. The two stories appear to be similar because innocence characters have to suffer. The hiding meanings are deep within each character and in each story. The two stories maybe
Hawthome's, The Birthmark
Aylmer's struggle for scientific perfection transcends human possibility in Nathaniel Hawthome's "The Birthmark." He attempts to perfect that which nature rendered imperfect. When the quest for human achievement opposes divine design it has no chance of succeeding. This key element in Aylmer's twisted love leads to the demise of what he seeks so desperately to perfect, his beautiful wife. Georgianna's "fatal flaw of humanity" (Hawthorne 167), the birthmark, blocks her from
The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story The Birthmark, the narrator introduces us to Aylmer, a brilliant scientist who spent his life studying nature extensively to the detriment of his own personal life. His wife, Georgiana, has been marked with a small, red birthmark on her cheek that most men found attractive all her life. Aylmer only sees this birthmark as a flaw and his desire for perfection can only result in death for Georgiana because becoming an ideal
The Psychological Dimension of “The Birthmark”
This essay will analyze Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark” in order to demonstrate that it is a “psychological” short story both in its themes and in its emphasis on the moral-psychological aspect of the main characters.
There is probably unanimity among literary critics that Hawthorne is a “psychological” writer. Consider some of their statements chosen at random from various critiques of Hawthorne’s literary works: Stanley
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Birthmark, there is indeed a representation of a submerged
personality in Aylmer. Although the other underlying personality is not represented within himself, it is rather portrayed through his assistant Aminadab. Since Aylmer is lacking so much within himself, he is unable to appreciate his wife even she was dying. Basically if Aylmer had the sensibility of Aminadab he could have realized how beautiful she was even with her birthmark.
During the portion of the
works in Puritan New England and during early crises in American
“The Birthmark,” like many of Hawthorne’s stories deals with
the relationship between men and women. It is a love story where
the quest for perfection leads to a tragic end. The protagonist,
a scientist named Aylmer, attempts to attain perfection for his
new wife Georgiana, by removing a birthmark resembling a small
hand from her left cheek. Written in 1843, it was Hawthorne’s
first work of fiction
First Paper - The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne
As human beings, we are NOT perfect! It is part of our nature to be
flawed one way or another. But there are some who choose to believe
the opposing view. The theme of Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "The
Birthmark" is how humans fight forcefully against Nature for
perfection. It is those humans who, eventually, learn that Nature
cannot be changed or revised.
Aylmer was a famous scientist and philosopher who achieved great
“The birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne is a story about a scientist who is obsessed about his wife’s birthmark and would go to any length to remove it, because he believes that his has the power of science, commands nature and can cure whatever form of imperfection there is. Why is he so obsessed with the birthmark? Does he successfully remove it at the end without harming his beautiful wife? Why he feels it was best for him and his wife to remove the birth mark, this essay shows it was clearly a
and knowledgeable Aylmer is, and the narrator even suggests that he may have the power to alter nature. “ We know not whether Aylmer possesses this degree of faith in man’s ultimate control over nature (Birthmark, 1262 ).”As Aylmer tries to use science to alter nature, or in this case, the birthmark on his wife’s cheek, his plan backfires and his wife dies. The death of Georgiana shows that knowledge is dangerous if used in the wrong way. The influence of the evolution of culture has caused men to
The Fate of Women in “The Birthmark”
Wilson Sullivan in “Nathaniel Hawthorne” in New England Men of Letters states that Nathaniel Hawthorne’s tale, “The Birthmark,” depicts the efforts “of a deranged scientist to obtain total perfection” in his wife by removal of a facial blemish. In this story the scientist operates on the superficial level of the physical world, while the woman, the truly heroic woman, functions on the level of the heart and soul, the more significant level
Woman Protagonist in “The Birthmark”
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, “The Birthmark,” the reader finds an excellent example of a woman who is so superior to her male counterpart that she has to be labeled the protagonist of the tale. This essay will demonstrate why this designation is deserved by the female character, Georgiana.
In the opening paragraph of “The Birthmark” the narrator introduces Aylmer as a scientist whose love for Georgiana is “more attractive
obsessed with making everything perfect. Nathanial Hawthorne seemed to think that the imperfections created by God should not be “fixed” by the will of man. In “The Birthmark”, he conveys this view through symbolism, imagery, and characterization.
Symbolism is scattered throughout the work. The most obvious is the shape that the birthmark is in: a hand. It is meant to represent the hand that God has in every formation of beauty, imperfections included. Because of this connection to God, it is supposed
“The Birthmark” – a Psychological Short Story
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark” may require a psychoanalyst to properly interpret because it is indeed a “psychological” short story in its themes and approach to character portrayal - and this essay will amply demonstrate these assertions.
Henry Seidel Canby in “A Skeptic Incompatible with His Time and His Past” talks about the value of Hawthorne’s “literary psychology”:
This irreverent generation [of the 1950’s] has mocked at
Since the beginning of time, people have lived by the expression, or at least heard
From their mother’s, that “no one should judge another based on physical attributes.”
“The Birthmark,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne gives its reader an important example of this
worldly known moral. In “The Birthmark,” Hawthorne uses characterization, a foil
character, hyperbole, a dramatic setting, imagery and a huge tragedy in order to display the
judgment morality of his main character, Aylmer.
Angel of a Woman in “The Birthmark”
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, “The Birthmark,” contains a wonderful example of the perfect wife. This essay will develop that theme.
In the opening paragraph of “The Birthmark” the narrator introduces Aylmer as a scientist who “had made experience of a spiritual affinity more attractive than any chemical one.” Hawthorne’s description of the scientist’s love for Georgiana is apt, for love is just that – spiritual. And the theme
“The Birthmark” Is a Psychological Story
The psychological dimension of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s writing, typical of his best short stories, is well demonstrated in his tale “The Birthmark.”
Frederick C. Crews in “The Logic of Compulsion in ‘Roger Malvin’s Burial’” explores the psychological drama that prevails in Hawthorne’s short stories:
. . . I chose this one tale to analyze because it illustrates the indispensability, and I should even say the priority
An expository essay:
Tragic flaw in Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark”
In literature a tragic flaw refers in plain words when the main character ends up dead or defeated a characteristic feature of the heroes of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short stories, “Young Goodman Brown,” “The Minister’s Black Veil”, and “The Birthmark”. However this concept is even more extensive and best explained in terms of “Hamartia”. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica that word can be understood as an inherent defect
Humans possess the desire to be perfect, which simply does not exist on earth and can only be achieved in dreams or in death and is explained in “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Despite wanting to be perfect, humans also desire the need to love and to be loved in return, which often leads to unhappy, bad, forceful relationships as expressed in “Living In Sin” by Adrienne Rich. Within our human lives we often desire to be labeled by who and what we are so we can know our place in this world;
Many of Nathaniel Hawthorne 's stories are based off of morality and is heavily influenced by religious beliefs and women. Hawthorne published "The Birthmark", a parable, dark romanticism, at a time when people praised the scientific method and were starting to think science could make anything possible. He set his story about sixty years earlier in the 160-year-long wake of the Newtonian Revolution, in the Age of Enlightenment, when science was gaining recognition. His story argues that, despite
Essay on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “The Birthmark”
In his celebrated short story “The Birthmark”, Nathaniel Hawthorne introduces us to Aylmer, the main protagonist of the story, as a man of science and an eminent natural philosopher, who is married to the beautiful Georgina. Despite her exquisite beauty, Georgina had a small defect, present in her cheek in the form of a small red birthmark shaped like a tiny hand. “Many a desperate swain would have risked life for the privilege of pressing
The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne
In Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "The Birthmark," there are many views on the need for science and its advances. Hawthorne's protagonist, Aylmer, illustrates his own personal assessment of science. The story is based on the idea that science can solve all of humanities ills and problems. Hawthorne believes that science is overrunning life. Aylmer is consumed by his passion of overtake Mother Nature. The story shows how Aylmer's passion leads
high-road of nature and acceptance, and on the other there’s the scientific shortcut that, in reality, just continues to mask the original problem. The Birthmark leads us to believe that this is perhaps a topic Hawthorne struggled with himself. Hawthorne clearly displays his decided distaste for science and its unnatural ways in his short story, The Birthmark.
Aylmer, the main character of the story, is a brilliant scientist/alchemist. He possesses a belief in "man's ultimate control over nature", and thinks
Nathaniel Hawthorne like many other writers during the nineteenth century focused their writings on the darker aspects of life. “The Birthmark,” is set in New England and has a Puritan perspective. Aylmer, a well-known scientist, marries Georgiana who has a hand shaped birthmark upon her face. After some time during their marriage Aylmer and Georgiana decided to remove the mark through scientific means. Advancements in science and the ability to change nature were at the center of
Representation of Evil
In Hawthorne’s short story “The Birthmark”, Aylmer feels that his wife Georgiana is a miracle and that she is perfect. Her only flaw was the birthmark in the shape of a hand placed on her cheek. Instead of focusing on all her Georgiana’s perfections, Aylmer only focused on one of her flaws, the birthmark. Aylmer constructs a statement about her birthmark saying that, “It was the fatal flaw of humanity which Nature, in one shape or another, stamps ineffaceably on her productions
Both “Hill’s like White Elephants” by Ernst Hemingway and “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne have many common elements of comparison between them. The main element of the stories that will be compared is this thought of an operation. Both stories stem from these two operations and the comparisons derive from how the women react and respond to the two men in the story. Both stories are comparable by the common theme of a life changing operation, how the women first react to the operation and how
The Birthmark, Rappaccini’s Daughter, and Ethan Brand
Hawthorne marks his characters as potential usurpers of God who are undermined by an inability to negotiate with human chaos. Confronted with examples of imperfection or fragmentation, the scientific minds of "The Birthmark," "Rappaccini¹s Daughter," and "Ethan Brand" attempt to efface or fuse flaws as they seek an impossible ideal of total encapsulation and order. Unsatisfied with writing a Psalm, they try to script the entire Bible.
“The Birthmark” – Women
“Everything he has to say is related, finally, to ‘that inward sphere.’ For the heart is the meeting-place of all the forces – spiritual and physical, light and dark, that compete for dominance in man’s nature. . . .” (McPherson 68-69). McPherson’s “heart” is the key to understanding the role of women in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s tale, “The Birthmark.”
Only imperfection is what nearsighted Aylmer sees in the birthmark on Georgiana’s cheek. But he
the center of the spiritual and psychical forces of man. Hawthorne's belief in the opposition between the head and the heart (reason and passion) is very similar to that of Puritan theology (Leone 75). We see the heart represented clearly in "The Birthmark," "Rappaccini's Daughter," and "The Christmas Banquet." Another symbol and mythological reference used by Hawthorne is the Dark Lady. These women and their quests in Hawthorne's stories are similar to those of Circe, Pandora, and Proserpina, in which
A Comparison of The Ministers Black Veil and the Birthmark
Both of these stories revolve around a lot of symbolism. These stories, since they really don't make a lot of sense on their own, force the reader to look deeper in an attempt to understand the ideas that Hawthorne tries to get across.
The first and most evident symbol is the faces of the people. Georgiana has the birthmark if the shape of a hand, and the black veil that Hooper wore. I think that Hawthorne chooses to focus on the
Comparing Perfection in Artist of the Beautiful, Rappaccini's Daughter, Birthmark and Prophetic Pictures
In four of Hawthorne's stories there is a struggle for power and control as a vehicle to obtain perfection or beauty. In "The Artist of the Beautiful", "Rappaccini's Daughter", "The Birthmark" and "The Prophetic Pictures" the characters are controlled by their desire for perfection in their creations, but they do not achieve their goals without sacrifice.
In "The Artist of the Beautiful"
“The Birthmark” is a short story written by Nathaniel Hawthorne that tells the story of a scientist who is obsessed with an imperfection his wife holds, a small red birthmark on her cheek, and his concern with removing it. The story explores a few different themes such as science, gratitude, stereotypes and mortality. “The Birthmark” portrays that imperfection is a necessary aspect in humans and if perfection exists, it will not last long.
In the story, a scientist, Aylmer, marries a beautiful
There have been various analysis based on these three stories and the characters involved: “The Yellow Wallpaper,” “The Birthmark,” and “The Goose Girl”. This paper will focus on analysis based on figurative languages used either consciously or unconsciously, the passivity of the characters, motivations, role performed in the story, and the agendas used by the various authors. The point of this analysis is to show how various authors have used short stories to give the world a diverse message
has become a classic archetype. The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne, follows this archetype. Although The Birthmark and Frankenstein are not identical both stories have similar archetypal characters and share similar themes of abused power and redemption.
The Frankenstein archetype requires three types of characters: a obsessive, mad scientist, a pure kind feminine presents and a monster, both sympathetic and ruthless. Although the characters from the birthmark are not carbon copies of the characters
Nathaniel Hawthorne. He wrote a few stories in a literary journal called The Pioneer, one of them being “The Birthmark”. Time significantly influenced Hawthorne in creating this short story (Wheeler). Aylmer, the main character, uses the scientific experimentation throughout the story to remove the birthmark from his wife’s, Georgiana, face which results in him killing her. “The Birthmark” has attempting for perfection, the battle between science and nature, and the earthly love.
Aylmer trying to
imperfection exists. To try to manipulate humans into perfection is not only impossible, but it takes away the very essence of being a human being. The short story “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorn, illustrates this teaching through the character of Aylmer, an ambitious and devoted scientist who is appalled by his wife Georgiana’s birthmark, believing it to be a perceivable sign of her human flaws and eagerly waits to remove it from her cheek. This story raises riveting questions such as, what is humanity
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s story “The Birthmark” you find a couple fairly prevalent disorders. Although psychology was as of yet not existence, Hawthorne describes them quite well. Alymer suffered from an obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, while his actions caused Georgiana to develop a body dysmorphic disorder. Both of which attributed to the eventual demise of Georgiana.
Alymer is an older scientist who marries a beautiful woman much younger then himself. Even though Alymer finds his
Imperfections in The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Too often in this world does man attempt to perfect nature. Tampering with this sort of element most commonly leads to a disaster to come extent. Because man is never satisfied, he is constantly vying for perfection, regardless of the outcome. Such is the case in Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story, 'The Birthmark.' Aylmer's persistent attempt to perfect nature is the cause of Georgiana's demise and the affirmation that when man tampers with
Noble Love in The Birthmark
Often billed as a story of an unsuccessful attempt to beat Nature at her own game, “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne certainly lends itself to a somewhat deeper interpretation. Over the years many scholars have noted that the story of Aylmer and Georgiana is riddled with traditional Hawthorne themes such as the evils of selfishness and pride, coupled with an element of solitariness (Arvin xvi). However, we are want to consider whether Aylmer’s motives
“The Birthmark” – The Theme
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s tale, “The Birthmark,” the dominant theme is love conquering self, though there is also present the theme of alienation resulting from the evil within mankind. This essay intends to explore, exemplify and develop this topic.
Hyatt Waggoner in “Nathaniel Hawthorne” states:
Alienation is perhaps the theme he handles with greatest power. “Insulation,” he sometimes called it – which suggests not only isolation
"being perfect" in Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Birthmark." This short story is about a devoted scientist who marries a beautiful woman with a single physical flaw; a birthmark on her face. Aylmer becomes obsessed with the imperfection and needs to remove it, to be happy with his wife. The tale evolves around his progressive frenzy to use his scientific skills to render his bride perfect. Only imperfection is what nearsighted Aylmer sees in the birthmark on Georgiana's cheek. But he is unfortunately
Analysis of The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Although “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne was written in the mid-1800s, its themes and ideas are still a part of society today. The 19th century was a time of change, just as this, the millennium, is a time of great change. Hawthorne’s ideas about science, beauty, and life still play a major part in our lives, despite many improvements. Even today, people try to play “God” and change things that nature has put in place. It’s human curiosity;
The Spiritual and Physical Dimensions in The Birthmark
Fred Allen Wolf notes in Taking the Quantum Leap that it was not until the 20th century that scientists realized that “to observe is to disturb, for observation breaks the wholeness of nature.” If observing disturbs, then when a scientist tampers and tries to perfect nature the result can only be disastrous. The goal of most scientists is to observe and understand the mysteries of nature. Nathaniel Hawthorne realized that the scientists of
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)
Hawthorne’s writings also supported this common view of each gender’s identity in society. Hawthorne’s pieces portrayed men as strong and knowledgeable, while women were presented as dainty beings of beauty with no power.
Hawthorne’s short story “The Birthmark” is especially strong in portraying the implied roles of men and women. The text states, “… he found this one defect grow more and more intolerable, with every moment of their united lives… selecting it as the symbol of his wife’s liability to sin
Frobisher. The comet-shaped birthmark serves as a sign that Rey’s “memories” are indeed memories. The discovery that Sonmi has an identical birthmark sheds light on another unifying connection between a growing number of characters. Zachry then identifies a comet-shaped birthmark on Meronym. Later, Cavendish reveals his own birthmark, so the reader then adds him to the growing list of reincarnated people. While the text never explicitly says that Ewing has a comet-shaped birthmark, the commonality between
External and Internal Conflict in “The Birthmark”
This essay will analyze Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark” to determine the external and internal conflicts in the tale.
In the opinion of this reader, the central conflicts in the tale – the relation between the protagonist and antagonist usually (Abrams 225) – are the external one between Aylmer and Georgiana over the birthmark on her cheek, and internal ones within Georgiana between love and self-interest and
Comparison of Hawthorne’s Short Stories “The Birthmark” and 3
“Rappaccini’s Daughter” 3
3.1 The Role of the Scientist 3
3.2 The Role of the Wife and daughter 4
3.3 Nature vs. Science 5
3. Conclusion 6
Works Cited 7
Honestly Declaration 8
In the main part of the following paper with the topic “Two Mad Scientists: A Comparison of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Short Stories “The Birthmark” and Rappaccini’s Daughter” I will offer