Hawthorne the birthmark analysis. The Birthmark Study Guide 2022-10-28
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In Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "The Birthmark," the main character, Aylmer, is a scientist who becomes obsessed with removing a small birthmark from his wife Georgiana's cheek. The birthmark is shaped like a small red hand and is seen by Aylmer as a blemish on Georgiana's otherwise perfect beauty. Aylmer becomes fixated on removing the birthmark, believing that he can achieve perfection through science and that the birthmark is a symbol of Georgiana's imperfection.
As the story progresses, it becomes clear that Aylmer's obsession with the birthmark is not just about improving his wife's appearance, but is also a manifestation of his own desire for control and his belief in the superiority of reason and science over nature. Aylmer sees the birthmark as a challenge to his own abilities and is determined to prove that he can overcome it through his scientific knowledge and skill.
However, Aylmer's pursuit of perfection ultimately leads to the tragic death of his wife. Despite the initial success of the procedure to remove the birthmark, Georgiana's health begins to deteriorate and she eventually dies from the strain of the procedure.
Through the character of Aylmer and his pursuit of the perfect, Hawthorne critiques the dangerous and misguided belief in the power of science and reason to overcome the limitations of the natural world. The birthmark serves as a symbol of the inherent imperfections of humanity and the dangers of trying to overcome or eliminate those imperfections through science.
Furthermore, Hawthorne suggests that the pursuit of perfection is ultimately futile and that it is impossible to achieve true perfection in the human world. The story ends with Aylmer reflecting on the tragic consequences of his pursuit of the perfect and the realization that the birthmark was actually a symbol of Georgiana's humanity and her connection to the natural world.
In conclusion, "The Birthmark" is a cautionary tale about the dangers of trying to achieve perfection through science and the destructive consequences that can result from such a pursuit. It serves as a reminder of the limitations of human knowledge and the importance of accepting and embracing the inherent imperfections of the natural world.
The Birthmark Voice Summary & Analysis
The potion does work; the birthmark slowly disappears. The birthmark reminds him that she is mortal, she can sin, and she will eventually die. Aminadab laughs again—earth celebrating its victory over the spiritual. How does he interpret it? Although he never actually conducts most of these experiments due to their outlandish nature, he continually states the fact that Aylmer is capable of performing some of the miracles he often spoke of such as giving drinkers eternal life that most people often wanted. Current issues are now on the Chicago Journals website.
Speaking of the Unspeakable: Hawthorne's "The Birthmark" on JSTOR
How does the work we see Aylmer doing as an old man in the story reflect the work he did when young? The next day, Aylmer brings Georgiana to his laboratory, where she immediately faints. In an ironic way their claim that the mark destroys her attractiveness actually testifies to how beautiful she actually is. Aylmer yells at him, waking his wife. While escorting her into a room near his lab, he catches sight of the mark and shudders, causing Georgiana to faint. It was published first in The Pioneer of Boston, and then The Pathfinder of New York. What meaning does Aylmer finally assign to the birthmark? Salem Is My Dwelling Place: A Life of Nathaniel Hawthorne.
A Question of Manhood: A Reader in U. What effect did those discoveries have on his career? Aylmer sees only that he can now unite his love of science with his love of Georgiana. The Salem World of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Next, Aylmer presents Georgiana with a pot of dirt. Georgiana, on the other hand, loves him more than she loves herself.
Eventually, his pursuit of perfection kills his wife, forcing him to reconcile with the idea that maybe it was something that could not be achieved. It becomes evident that the main objective of the author might have been to ensure that the readers got a fantastical and nonrealistic view of the character. It was the sad confession and continual exemplification of the shortcomings of the composite man, the spirit burdened with clay and working in matter, and of the despair that assails the higher nature at finding itself so miserably thwarted by the earthly part. However, his wife reveals that she is dying, and shortly after this she dies in front of him. Sentence 1 tells us that Aylmer has established a spiritual relationship. They did not come to obsess over it, as Aylmer eventually did. He even suggests that the presence of the birthmark in the room will ruin his work.
Natalie Perdue Natalie has taught multiple topics for both children and adults for over two years. Aylmer, with the help of his servant, Aminadab, creates a potion which he demonstrates on a plant, bringing its leaves back to life. Georgiana herself seems disturbed in her sleep by his kiss. Georgiana, on the other hand, reaffirms her complete submission to her husband when she says she would drink poison for him. Hawthorne died in 1864, only a few months before the end of the Civil War. He could have appreciated being married to a woman who was as close to perfect as she could be, but in seeking complete perfection, he has wasted his only chance at being close to a divine creature. The fact that Georgiana feels she might be in the sky adds to the sense of Aylmer acting as God, with this as his heavenly lair.
A Summary and Analysis of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s ‘The Birthmark’
In between his hours working on the treatment, Aylmer tells Georgiana about alchemy, the early branch of science that sought to turn various materials into gold. What question does the narrator raise in sentence 7? She tells Aylmer that he should try to remove the birthmark, even if his efforts kill her. Hawthorne may have been criticizing the epoch of reform in which he was living, and specifically calling attempts at reform ineffective and the reformers dangerous. Hawthorne shows these Romantic ideals in his short story 'The Birthmark' by focusing on obsessive love and the conflict between nature and science. In what way can this last meaning be said to be a foreshadowing? Whenever the couple should be happy, Aylmer ends up talking about the birthmark, until it becomes the center of their marriage.
In the real world, although scientists are free to explore their primary areas of interests, there are values which might constraint them in how far they are willing to go with their experiments. This lesson is divided into two parts, both accessible below. In seeking to destroy one unwanted detail, he unwittingly destroys all of the things around it which he loved and treasured. Ignorant of all scientific principles, Aminadab is a physically strong, ugly but useful man. It is from this point that Georgiana urges Aylmer to help her get rid of the birthmark because otherwise, she would instead end her life. She realizes that her husband has fallen short of many of the discoveries he hoped to accomplish. She sees it as a failure.
Georgiana was heartbroken when she discovered how Aylmer felt about her and her birthmark. Aylmer craved perfection in his wife; he wanted immortality. The following day, Aylmer deliberates and then decides to take Georgiana to the apartments where he keeps a laboratory. Aylmer as Scientist: Paragraph 22 31. Since we are going to focus on Aylmer, it might be useful to say a few words about him as a scientist.