critical analysis of "The Birthmark"

Topics: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Short story, Life Pages: 2 (666 words) Published: February 24, 2014


The Birthmark analysis

Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, Massachusetts in the year of 1804 and lived a long life until 1864. He studied at Bowdoin College. Throughout his lifetime Nathanial wrote many novels, short stories, etc. Some of his most famous ones being The Scarlet Letter (1850), The House of the Seven Gables (1851) and the short story “The Birthmark.” “The Birthmark” is a story that has many different themes through the plot that revolve over one flaw. That being the Birthmark.

In the story “The Birth-Mark” there is a man named Aylmer who is a late 18- century scientist. He is very devoted to his work and will always go out of his way to figure something out. Georgina, his wife is a beautiful woman but has one small flaw about her that bothers her Aylmer. She has a small birthmark in the shape of a hand on her cheek. Because of this flaw Aylmer doesn’t like it and wants to get rid of it. Georgina falls completely into pieces. She thinks of herself as ugly and both are unhappy about the situation. Aylmer wants to remove it and he starts to plan ways of how he can accomplish that. He eventually removes the birthmark and Georgina is flawless and beautiful. But because he removed this birthmark Georgina couldn’t withstand the procedure and dies.

Being one of the only two important characters Aylmer is considered to be very ambitious. Throughout the story he doesn’t seem to be the ideal husband. His foolish ambition takes over and gets to the best of him. Aylmer only knows how to

unfold the secrets of the natural world, and not only know the mechanism of it s power. Hawthorne only sees this as two problems: the desire to play god, and a blinding faith in science. Aylmer was a very selfish character as well, all he wanted was for Georgina to be beautiful and perfect he took things for granted and soon he realized that when Georgina said “ You have aimed loftily: you have rejected the nest earth could offer, Aylmer, dearest Aylmer, I...
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