The Birthmark By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay example

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“In the latter part of the last century there lived a man of science, an eminent proficient in every branch of natural philosophy, who not long before our story opens had made experience of a spiritual affinity more attractive than any chemical one” (Hawthorne 3). This story is “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. The short story is about finding out how to balance Aylmer’s love of science with the love of his life, his wife. Our main character, Aylmer is consumed with the influence of science, but he soon becomes so obsessed with the “crimson hand” on Georgiana’s face (Hawthorne 5). The birthmark symbolizes the loss of perfection in human nature or the eye of success. Therefore making the conflict man versus man, all the while, having man versus supernatural (God) becoming “Vitus” secondary conflict of the story. In Greek literature a tragic flaw is the beginning of a character 's downfall. In the short story, “The Birthmark”, Aylmer and Georgiana can both have tragic flaws; their responsibility toward each other is the very reason for Aylmer and Georgiana’s downfall. In Greek literature a tragic flaw refers in plain words when the main character ends up dead or defeated, which is the very reason for the heroes in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short stories. Therefore “The Birthmark” seems more related to the word “Hamartia”. This word signifies a tragic flaw, meaning literally “missing the mark”. Hamartia happens when misperception or lack of any important insight, or some…

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