Analysis Of The Birthmark By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Of the three stories written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, I least enjoyed The Birthmark. This story is a dark romantic short-story that takes place in the main character’s laboratory, in the late 1700s. The reason that I enjoyed this story the least, is due to its -in my opinion- less meaningful and powerful overall message. That being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed The Birthmark, owing to the superb and powerful imagery employed by Hawthorne, in his writing. Vital to the plot of this story, is its time period. For it was during the latter half, as well as the former, of the 18th Century, that the physical world began to become more objectively studied, with new scientific methodologies. Recent discoveries throughout various scientific fields …show more content…
This gothic short-story was set in Salem, Massachusetts, during the late 17th century. Goodman Brown, the main character, begins the story bidding farewell to his wife, Faith, as he sets off on a night long journey through the wilderness, with the Devil. As Brown walks along a path through the wilderness he encounters many people he knows, and his faith is toppled as he sees how many people recognize the Devil, and how evil is within everyone he knows. Brown even witnesses his wife at a ritual ceremony, and then joins her to be baptized by the Devil. Throughout the story his main struggle is his spiritual corruptibility. Goodman Brown shares little in common with Aylmer from The Birthmark. However, one thing they do share, is their love for their wives. Furthermore, just as Aylmer’s wife has a birthmark which shows her imperfection, Faith shows her imperfection when Brown finds her at the ritual: Faith shows her own capacity for evil and corruption. Unlike Aylmer, who was behooved by the flaw to make Georgiana perfect, Brown did not actively seek any solution to his issues. He allows for himself to lose all faith in religion and humanity, and then dies a sad old …show more content…
The protagonist of The Minister’s Black Veil is a Reverend called Mr. Hooper. He faces many conflicts throughout the story, which are brought about by one central issue: the black veil covering his face. However, the veil is not the main conflict nor are the issues that arise from him wearing it; for him, the veil is a solution, and a punishment. The veil he wears symbolizes the dichotomy of how the puritans presented themselves versus what lay within them. The puritans all hid within them secret sin, and original sin, from each other and from God. Mr. Hooper wore the veil to convey more powerful messages during his sermons, to form better connections with people, and as a punishment for his own secret sin, which was possibly an affair. To clarify, the main conflicts faced by Mr. Hooper are: him not being able to communicate and connect with the members of his church, and his need to punish himself for his sins, in hope of reconciliation for them, from God. For those two conflicts, he uses the veil as a solution. Similarly to Goodman Brown, Mr. Hooper endured a long and sad life; however, it was not in vain, due to the fact that the veil actually solved a lot of the problems he was having originally, with respect to not being able to communicate and connect well with his congregation. This is different from Goodman Brown, because

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