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Imperfections In The Birthmark Revised

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Imperfections in The Birthmark
Humans have always attempted to attain perfection in nature which is elusive. In the
process of attaining perfection, they tamper with nature leading to disaster. Nathaniel
Hawthorne's short story, The Birthmark, describes the illusion of perfect nature. Hawthorne's
stories are ambiguous and complex, making it hard to comprehend or reduce to a simple view
about life. Hawthorne's characters always suffer from inner conflicts such as untested innocence,
pride, perverse secrecy, hidden guilt, and isolation. Such is The Birthmark. The main character,
Aylmer, a scientist who marries a beautiful lady called Georgiana. Except for the birthmark on
her cheek, Georgiana is a perfect beauty. However, Aylmer cannot stand the birthmark on her
cheek, blinding him to everything good about his wife. He attempts to perfect nature by
removing the birthmark on Georgiana’s cheek leading to her death. The story affirms that when
humans interfere with nature, terrible things happen. Thus, the imperfection in The Birthmark.
Aylmer is obsessed with science so much that he cannot separate the love for science and
his new wife's love. After his marriage, Aylmer becomes obsessively preoccupied with the
birthmark on Georgiana's cheek. Hawthorne uses symbolism to describe a strange birthmark as
the mark of earthly imperfection(Hawthorne, p204). The birthmark is deeply interwoven with
the substance and texture of Georgiana's face, which 'bore a little similarity to the human hand'
(Hawthorne, p204). The symbolism implies that the mark is a human hand meaning that
removing it also requires human hands. Aylmer manages to convince his wife that her birthmark

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is a curse and a symbol of her liability to sorrow, sin, and decay, so she should get rid of the
mark. Initially, Georgiana did not seem bothered with the birthmark on her left cheek,
considering it a charm until Aylmer’s obsession with the mark compels her to view it negatively.
Her love for her husband, who obsessively hates the birthmark changes her perspective about the
birthmark. Georgiana feels unworthy of her husband because of the image Aylmer has planted in
her mind making the birthmark unbearable. Hawthorne had used imagery when Aylmer tries to
convince Georgiana by using the geranium, as Aylmer describes that once it was diseased with
yellow spots but regained life when it got rid of the yellow spots. Therein, Aylmer uses the
diseased flower to symbolize the diseased Georgiana. Thereby, Georgiana freely surrenders to
her husband's will and his science, agreeing that Aylmer should remove the mark at all costs,
“this hateful mark makes me the object of your horror and disgust’ (Hawthorne, p207). It shows
that Georgiana is ready to risk death to get rid of the mark, which is nature’s work to please the
husband. She says, 'either remove this dreadful hand or take my wretched life' (Hawthorne,
p207). Aylmer wants to remove the birthmark so that Georgiana will remain perfect, according
to him. He becomes even more obsessed with removing the birthmark that he infatuates about,
even dreaming how he will remove the mark (Hawthorne, p206). Aylmer has chosen his love for
science over the affection for his wife. The dream symbolizes Georgiana’s ultimate fate, yet
Aylmer pays no attention. Georgiana has even tried to alert Aylmer of death's risk from
removing the birthmark. Yet, Aylmer does not pay attention as he seems determined to proceed
with the birthmark removal and perfect the imperfect nature.
The story also reveals Aylmer's imperfections despite his selfish desire to rid Georgiana
of the imperfection in her life, the birthmark. Aylmer is quite imperfect, as revealed when
Georgiana goes through the reports from his previous experiments. Georgiana has realized that

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Last Name 1 Name Professor Course Date Imperfections in The Birthmark Humans have always attempted to attain perfection in nature which is elusive. In the process of attaining perfection, they tamper with nature leading to disaster. Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story, The Birthmark, describes the illusion of perfect nature. Hawthorne's stories are ambiguous and complex, making it hard to comprehend or reduce to a simple view about life. Hawthorne's characters always suffer from inner conflicts such as untested innocence, pride, perverse secrecy, hidden guilt, and isolation. Such is The Birthmark. The main character, Aylmer, a scientist who marries a beautiful lady called Georgiana. Except for the birthmark on her cheek, Georgiana is a perfect beauty. However, Aylmer cannot stand the birthmark on her cheek, blinding him to everything good about his wife. He attempts to perfect nature by removing the birthmark on Georgiana’s cheek leading to her death. The story affirms that when humans interfere with nature, terrible things happen. Thus, the imperfection in The Birthmark. Aylmer is obsessed with science so much that he cannot separate the love for science and his new wife's love. After his marriage, Aylmer becomes obsessively preoccupied with the birthmark on Georgiana's cheek. Hawthorne uses symbolism to describe a strange birthmark as the mark of ‘earthly imperfection’ (Hawthorne, p204). The birthmark is deeply interwoven with the substance and texture of Georgiana's fa ...
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I was struggling with this subject, and this helped me a ton!

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