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Analysis of The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Analysis of " The Birthmark " by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Aylmer is a scientist devoted to his studies and his job until he marries Georgiana.

Georgiana's birthmark symbolizes Aylmer's insecurities and his need for everything to be


Georgiana has a small, almost red colored birthmark on her right cheek. Its shape

resembles that of a small hand. It seems that Aylmer really doesn't think much of this birthmark

until him and Georgiana are married. Aylmer brings up the topic of the birthmark, and removing

it, many times with Georgiana. Although Georgiana did not want to hear of it, because the man

she married is supposed to love her even with her flaws, she listened to what he had to say. For

a while after that they didn't speak of it, but by the way Aylmer looked at his wife, she knew that

this birthmark on her cheek made him disgusted. Aylmer even selected that Georgiana's

birthmark was the "symbol of his wife's liability to sin, sorrow, decay, and death."

There was one day that Georgiana began talking of the birthmark to her husband. She

told him that he should do whatever it takes to remove the birthmark from her cheek. Georgiana

had grown in fear of her husband's look towards her, and she shuddered whenever he did glance

at her. Aylmer now only looked at Georgiana's birthmark when looking at her face. He no longer

recognized the beauty and elegance of the woman he married. Georgiana knew that this was the

only way to satisfy her husband, and for her to live her life happily once again, she must get rid

of the object of her husband's horror and disgust.

I think that this birthmark symbolizes all of Aylmer's insecurities. The way he looks at his

'once beautiful' wife in disgust and resentment, is not of love anymore. His constant talks of

removing it is similar to him removing anything ugly in his life. He is willing to do whatever


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