The Birthmark

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Angelica Miranda
Professor Orlando Pizana
English Composition II 1102
15 MARCH 2012

Obsession of the “Birthmark”

Many desperate men like a beauty mark on a women, a women becomes jealous of a birthmark because it becomes competition for a women without one. A man becomes obsessed with his wife’s birthmark to the point that he tries to control and manipulate nature. Love is not perfect, either is man or woman.

A short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Birthmark”, is a short story about a newly married couple and the husband becomes obsessed with his wife’s birthmark. The birthmark is a symbol in the text. The text reads as follows “The crimson hand expressed the ineludible gripe in which mortality clutches the highest and purest of earthly mould, degrading them into kindred with the lowest, and even with the very brutes, like whom their visible frames return to dust. In this manner, selecting it as the symbol of his wife's liability to sin, sorrow, decay, and death” (Booth 215 ). Hawthorne is telling us the readers that love is not perfect using the symbol as the birthmark itself. The husband, Alymer wants to control nature to try to fix this birthmark , but in all reality it is his insecurity. Alymer wants perfection in his wife and this perfection does not exist.

As you read the text, Alymer is hiding something from his wife which is considered scheme. Alymer already has a plan to try to remove the birthmark itself to make his wife perfect. In the text Alymer says “Dearest Georgiana, I have spent much thought upon the subject” (Booth 216 ), meaning he has had this all planned out and he was going to make sure this flaw would be removed. Alymer is a schemer and his wife had no idea that this procedure was going to take place. It was not until he had brought up the birthmark to her and how it disgusted him that she was aware of how obsessed her husband became over this tiny birthmark.

As the short story goes on, Alymer has a dream about...
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