“TheBirthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
“TheBirthmark” is a narrative by Nathaniel Hawthorne that tells thestory of a brilliant scientist named Aylmer who sets out to removethe birthmark on his wife’s cheek. Notably, Georgiana, Aylmer’swife, is extremely beautiful however, she has a red birthmark on herleft cheek, which shaped like a tiny hand it disappears whenever sheblushes (Overview). Male admirers think the mark accentuates herbeauty and have wished to kiss it however, some women say it isugly, perhaps out sheer jealousy. Aylmer, who is also the narrator,says that Georgiana’s face is almost perfect except for the markthis offends Georgiana, who then begins to weep. In time, thenarrator becomes obsessed with removing the mark off of Georgina’scheek he views it as a representation of sin and mortality, as saysit towers over his wife’s beauty. One day, Georgina hears Aylmertalk in his sleep about how he wants to kill her when she confrontshim, he says that he had been dreaming about removing the mark but hediscovered the mark goes so deep that it reaches her heart, and thathe had been forced to cut out her heart in the dream. Seeing how herbirthmark is torturing Aylmer, she agrees to let him remove it justto make her happy.
Correspondingly,Aylmer takes her to his laboratory where he presents his mostremarkable inventions to her however, Georgiana realizes that noneof Aylmer’s experiments have ever been completely successful, butcontinues with the plan. Effectively, Aylmer presents a concoction toGeorgiana she drinks it and sleeps then the mark fades from hercheek. Georgiana awakens and tells Aylmer that he has rejected thebest the earth had to offer, then dies this marks the close of thenarrative.
Seemingly,the main themes in the narrative are beauty and greed. Fundamentally,Georgiana is the epitome of beauty most people think she is perfectand would give anything to be with her. Aylmer is also aware of herbeauty, but is disturbed by the birthmark on her cheek. Nevertheless,he was greedy despite having the beautiful Georgiana for a wife, hewas not satisfied. He thought he could improve her so that shematches his idea of a perfect woman nevertheless, he ends up losingher to death. Inherently, he would still have her if he wascontented.
Aylmer’sdream foreshadows Georgiana’s death in his dream, he had to cutout her heart in order to remove the birthmark. This hinted that thebirthmark was a part of Georgiana and there was no way of removing itwithout causing her harm. True to this fact, Georgiana died whenAylmer succeeded to remove the mark from her cheek. In such a manner,Aylmer’s dream foreshadowed Georgiana’s death. Moreover, the partwhere Georgina finds out that none of Aylmer’s experiments had everreally been successful foreshadows that she will also be a nearlysuccessful experiment.
Overall,the moral of the narrative is that perfection is an illusion. Peopleare already perfect the way they are, and trying to change to fitone’s idea of perfection is vane as well as playing. In addition,it teaches that people should not be obsessed with what they do notwant that they forget the value
"Overview:`The Birth-Mark`." Short Stories for Students. Ed. SaraConstantakis. Vol. 35. Detroit: Gale, 2012. Literature ResourceCenter. Web. 17 Oct. 2016.
blethings they do have for instance, Aylmer was so obsessed with thebirthmark that it prevented him from seeing how much his wife lovedhim.