Literary Analysis Of 'The Birth-Mark' By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Literary Analysis of “The Birth-Mark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s, “The Birth-Mark”, illustrates the characteristics of Romantic literature through allegory and symbolism. Romanticism is a type of literature or attitude that arose during the late 18th century and mid-19th century. Romanticism focused primarily on imagination, appreciation of nature and feelings and emotions over science. The purpose of this research is to explain how Nathaniel Hawthorne uses Romantic literature to warn his audience of the destructive potential of an obsession with science and the human desire for perfection and to explain what exactly motivated Aylmer in the first place. In “The Birth-Mark”, Aylmer, a newly wed, notices a small birthmark
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The gift from nature that Georgiana once viewed as a “charm”, soon became the source of her insecurity and unhappiness. In the beginning, Georgiana was shocked at Alymer for suggesting the removal of the birth-mark she had all her life, she even question why he married her in the first place. However, after Georgiana heard Aylmer yell, 'It is in her heart now; we must have it out! (Hawthorne, “The Birth-Mark”) after She began to obsess over the birth-mark as well, but only because she yearned for the acceptance and pleasure of her husband. As if Georgiana’s distress and the risk wasn’t enough to stop Aylmer from continuing to fatal procedure, Hawthorne introduces another character towards the end story that gives subtle advice to Aylmer. This character is Aminidab, he is Aylmer’s longtime assistant and servant. His stocky appearance symbolizes a man’s physical nature, while Aylmer symbolizes a spiritual element. He is considered the voice of reason. Before proceeding the operation, Aminidab mumbles “if she were my wife, I 'd never part with that birthmark"(Hawthorne, “The Birth-Mark”), suggesting that he did not see anything with the birthmark nor did he feel it necessary to remove especially considering to risks. Nonetheless, Aylmer selfishly decides to go through with the operation that ultimately leads to her Georgiana’s death. Hawthorne uses this story to illustrate the possible dangerous …show more content…
He makes it clear to her that if the mark were to be removed she would be perfect. As stated previously, Aylmer describes Georgiana’s birthmark “as being the visible mark of earthly imperfection”, a “defect”. Aylmer turned his curiosity of why she had the birthmark, slowly into

an obsession. He even began to dream about the birthmark as opposed to his wife. “The marriage of Aylmer and Georgiana initially indicates their unification, but the mark disrupts the unity of the couple and replaces Georgiana because the blemish, in Aylmer’s words, ‘had taken a pretty firm hold of [his] fancy’ (Hawthorne 1291).(Howard )” Aylmer had become so obsessed with the birth-mark that his wife became a non-factor.
Given these points, Nathaniel Hawthorne explores the fine line between Mother Nature and the obsession with science, and how crossing that line can become detrimental, especially when it is “pursued without a proper respect for human feelings and relationships” (Hawthorne,
“The Birth-Mark”). Although Georgiana eventually wanted to go through with the operation, it only for the sake of pleasing her husband. Aylmer went to extreme lengths to remove a

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