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 perfect. 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 l Continue...

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She now knows that Aylmer will do his best in suceeding in this particular experiment because if he is so devoted to those little experiments, then he will be extra careful with his wife's life in his hands. The day that Georgiana was to take this special liquid, she observed Aylmer and his assistant in their lab. Aylmer has become so infatuated with making things perfect, that he thinks even his wife who is beautiful, needs to be the embodiment of perfection. Georgiana is upset but trusts her husband enough to take the liquid anyway. He was ecstatic, and when she woke up to see her face she was perfect. He becomes this obsessed scientist all the time, even around Georgiana. The theme of "The Birthmark", is based on Aylmer's obsession with perfection. Aylmer let his obsession take over in his relationship with his wife. I think that this birthmark symbolizes all of Aylmer's insecurities. His constant talks of removing it is similar to him removing anything ugly in his life. Of course, Aylmer's perception of what is right at this time is completely wrong. Aylmer reassures her that he wouldn't do anything to harm her or himself. Georgiana obviously being the experiment he will work on. Aylmer then tells Georgiana that the liquid he intends to remove her birthmark with will be stronger, will leave no scar, and her birthmark will never return. A few moments later Georgiana trembled in her sleep.


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