Character Analysis of Aylmer

Topics: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Science, Short story Pages: 2 (442 words) Published: August 13, 2009
Shelbi Holt

Character Analysis

In “The Birthmark”, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the character Alymer is portrayed as a mad scientist. He cares about his wife, but his love for science and intellect overcomes any love he could ever have for her. By saying Alymer is a mad scientist, I am meaning that he will go to great lengths to try and create cures and become intertwined with science itself.

Alymer’s behavior is very manipulative around others. He doesn’t just come out and say how he hates Georgiana’s birthmark, his actions say it for him. He uses his behavior to get what he wants from people. Every time he would look at Georgiana’s face he would shudder a little so it would make her feel uncomfortable with her birthmark, and so then he could try to get rid of it. I do not think that Alymer’s actions were very wise because his stubbornness and pride were the cause of his own wife’s death. His ethics were not morally correct. He was more focused on trying to create perfection (which is not possible) than embracing his wife’s flaws and loving her for her imperfections and who she truly is.

The way Alymer’s laboratory was set up also shows how he was not in the right state of mind. It had a pungent smell of filth, a smoking furnace, and the room was full of tubes and electrical machines ready to be used. This created an uncomfortable atmosphere for Georgiana, which also shows that Alymer did not even try to help his wife be less nervous about the upcoming dangerous experiment. The way Hawthorne put all of these details about Alymer together in the story makes me believe that his judgments are similar to mine. The way he portrays Alymer throughout the story goes along with what I wrote about him too. Also, I think the time period greatly influenced Alymer’s actions and lifestyle because back then they didn’t have much technology or the knowledge to make accurate experiments. He didn’t have any idea that the outcome of his removal experiment would...
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