Guilt vs. Innocence, Allegories, Puritanism in Nathaniel Hawthorne

2424 Words 10 Pages
Sabrina Bullock
Professor Erin Whitford
American Literature I (409)
18 August 2013 (SumII)
Grade: 88

Guilt vs. Innocence, Allegories, Puritanism in Nathaniel Hawthorne

Nathaniel Hawthorne was a nineteenth century American writer that was born in Massachusetts with a Puritan Heritage. “Born in Massachusetts on the Fourth of July, 1804, he was the descendant of Puritan worthies and the son of a ship’s captain who died at sea in 1808” (Gollin). Allegories are portrayed in his writings to depict a vivid outlook of his moral themes. Many of his works describe the human conscience and how it deals with guilt. Hawthorne’s works describe his contemplation on sin and guilt. He believed it had an effect on one’s social behavior, as well
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“He had devoted himself, how-ever, too unreservedly to scientific studies, ever to be weaned from them by any second passion” (Bayum,etc.Pg.418). Aylmer, obsessed with the mark on Georgiana’s face, calls upon her to ask if she ever thought of having the mark removed. She said that she thought of the mark as such a charm it never occurred to her. But, her husband being so obsessed with his wife being perfect, Aylmer convinced her that nature only gave her one imperfection and it was to be removed. Her birthmark is a symbol of Aylmer’s incapability to love her because he is in seeks for the perfect woman. Georgiana began to feel ashamed of her birthmark she once thought so fondly of. All Aylmer did was stare at it day and night with such disgust. “But, seeing her otherwise so perfect, he found this one defect grow more and more intolerable, with every moment of their united lives” (Bayum,etc.Pg. 419). She wanted her husband to love her and not feel so ashamed of such and eventually wished for it to be removed more than he did. “Not even Aylmer now hated it so much as she” (Bayum,etc.Pg.425). Living her life with the birthmark meant that her husband could not love her because it was her only defect. As the story goes on, Aylmer creates a potion wishing to fix nature and Georgiana agrees to take it even if it means risking her life. “Danger? There is but one danger-that this horrible stigma shall

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