The Birthmark

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Morin 2
The story “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne is the foolishness of striving for perfection. The author uses several elements of fiction to express this theme. He starts by giving a brief summary about who the main characters are. Aylmer is a very smart man who has a love of science. He’s into the spiritual world but it tends to be disturbing. He believes that he is able to perform miracles. Aylmer has invented potions that are capable of instantly killing a person or killing them in several years. He keeps journal writing about how he feels that’s his greatest achievements are worthless. Hawthorne has one wondering about Aylmer’s age, childhood, or even some of his bad habits as to why he is the way he is. Georgiana is a beautiful woman who will do anything to please her husband. She considers her husband as her master. She only cares what Aylmer thinks of her. He is disgusted by her appearance so she begins to feel very insecure about herself. She loves Aylmer so much that she is willing to risk death to make him happy. She’s like a robot to him. She’s very obedient and trusts her husband with all her heart. Right before she dies she gets some self-confidence and tells Aylmer not to feel bad about rejecting “the best the earth could offer” Hawthorne shows that the desire of perfection is very devastating and allegorical. Instead of Aylmer seeing the best that nature has to offer, he’s obsessing over his wife’s single flaw. What’s ironic is that Aylmer who has many failures of his own is trying to perfect someone else. Georgiana’s birthmark is a sign of mortality. Aylmer doesn’t understand that Georgiana is human being and that everyone has flawed in some way. He finds her birthmark so disgusting that convinces her to get it removed. He goes as far saying he has to cut her heart out to remove it. In the end Aylmer gives her poison and she dies. Hawthorne uses beautiful words to describe...
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