Melanie St. Jean
The birthmark on Georgina’s face portrays the fact that we are all unique and one of a kind. In an excerpt of Hawthorne’s quote, “stamps ineffaceably on all her productions” he is saying that nature gives us our own “stamp” or mark, for us to differ as individuals. In simpler words, Hawthorne is implying that no one is perfect. We all have our blemishes, which make us who we are, and that if our focus revolves around the negative we will never truly appreciate the positive. Georgina is a beautiful woman, but Aylmer is too determined on fixing her one imperfection that he cannot see past it, to her true beauty. Hawthorne also wants to portray that whatever is meant to be, will be. The birthmark was part of Georgina, he tried too hard to fix this mark which resulted in her death— don’t try to change the unchangeable because it will not work out in your favour.
The plant and its quick demise symbolize Georgina’s upcoming death. The fact that the flower was beautiful like Georgina and that as soon as she comes into contact with it, it dies goes to show something bad is about to happen.
Aminadab symbolizes the physical side of existence. He is Aylmer’s assistant, and has been by his side throughout the many times he has failed with his experiments. At the end of the story, when he laughs at the sight of the birthmark disappearing he is laughing with disbelief, and delight. Once he sees that Georgina has actually died he laughs again, this one being because Aylmer has failed once again and that religion trumps science, no one can try and be God and fix his already perfect creations.
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