What Is the Symbolism in the Birthmark and the Thing in the Forest

Topics: Family, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Thing Pages: 2 (694 words) Published: March 1, 2011
Vicky Limbrick
English 102
February 13, 2011
Instructor – Handy
Symbolism and other figurative speech in The Birth-mark and The Thing in the Forest Birth – Mark : First and fore-most the birthmark represents the fatal flaw of humanity, and that eventually we all fall into sin, sorrow, decay, and death. I think that the birthmark represents the desire for perfection or in this case the lack of. Georgina’s husband found her birthmark to be all consuming blot on her otherwise beautiful face. He made it something so awful that his wife lost her own feeling of beauty and began to feel ugly. She was willing to do anything to have this ugly stain removed from her face. As so many women, strive to attain outer beauty through plastic surgery. What Georgina’s husband failed to appreciate was her inner beauty, something that would never fade. I also think the birthmark represents her husband’s ongoing battle with nature. He was so full of himself and the confidence that he could control nature that he was willing to risk the life of the woman he loved. He acted as if could control life and death. I think he believed that if he could rid her of this birthmark that he could prolong life. The shape of the birthmark as is pointed out in the story was in the shape of a hand. To many it seemed as if a fairy had placed her hand on her face and left this imprint as a token of the magic endowments that were to give such power over their hearts. The handprint could also represent that she had been touched by God Another aspect of the birthmark to consider is that it deeply interwoven with the texture and substance of her being, would lead us to think that her flaws weather literal or symbolic are deeply woven into her character and cannot be easily removed. As we see from the fact that when her husband attempted to remove the birthmark he removed her very life. In addition, consider that the birthmark is red and sometimes fades depending on her mood. The red could...
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