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The Birthmark: Analysis

This short story illustrates the folly of following our whims and wills at the expense of everything else. Aylmer is obsessed with his wife's birthmark or "imperfection," and instead of accepting her for who and what she is, he continually obsesses about her being entirely "perfect" without the offending birthmark. Those who knew her loved her for who she was, and even celebrated her unique mark, all except her husband, who should be the one that loves her more than any other. It is a sad story because he carries his obsession to the extreme, and kills his wife, all in the name of perfection. Instead of trying to change her, he should have enjoyed her as she was, and accepted her birthmark as a unique and appealing part of the whole. I do not think that molding imperfections into something more ideal is a good idea. It might be good if there is a physical or mental limitation that can be overcome, and I think it is good for people to change and try to reach their full potential. However, I do not think that change into someone's idea of an "ideal" is a good thing. I think that people should learn to celebrate their limitations and unique qualities, rather than changing them to mold themselves to something "acceptable" in society. That is wrong, just as Aylmer's attempt to change his wife was wrong. She was already beautiful, and it was not her imperfection that needed attention, it was his own inability to deal with that imperfection. He needed to overcome his objection to her birthmark and love her for who she was. Changing her into something else was not the answer, and it is not the answer in modern society, either. Many people see themselves as imperfect, and change themselves physically with plastic surgery and other permanent solutions, and that is another example of how society guides what is "ideal" and what is not. This illustrates how people are slaves to social pressure, and cannot accept themselves for who th...

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The Birthmark: Analysis. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 22:10, September 02, 2014, from