Essay on The Birthmark By Nathaniel Hawthorne

1865 Words May 5th, 2016 8 Pages
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “The Birthmark” is one of many literary examples of how science becomes top priority over religion, values, and morals. In “The Birthmark” as well as in “Rappaccini’s Daughter”, Hawthorne uses his main characters, who are young, innovative scientists, to represent man’s sole reliance on science, as if it is religion. In the ending of “The Birthmark”, Hawthorne displays how this kind of dependency resulted in the main character’s own downfall due to his own foolishness and unawareness of the consequences of drastically altering or supposedly “improving” nature.
The themes in “The Birthmark” are the foolishness in obsessively striving for human perfection, and science’s unsuccessful effort to control or alter nature. In this short story, Hawthorne uses literary devices such as allusion, imagery, irony, allegory, and symbolism to convey the story’s concealed meaning. To gain a better understanding of the short story’s key message or meaning as well as the author’s viewpoint, which is being expressed within the short story, it is best to present and perform a clear analysis of both the author’s history and the story’s background.
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s views on the subject of man’s sole reliance upon science are reasonably evident in “The Birthmark”. The short story displays Hawthorne’s “interest in the concept of detested corrupt experimentation and unrestrained biological research, which Hawthorne often assumed, could bring about disastrous…

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