The Birthmark By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

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The “Birthmark”, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is an allegory, like many other short stories and novels Hawthorne has wrote. The short story’s allegorical meanings are acquired from Hawthorne’s use of symbolism. In the “Birthmark”, Hawthorne uses the characters, foreshadowing, and symbolism to display the message or theme of obsession with perfection and imperfection, confliction with science and nature, and dabbling with fate. According to the text, The Norton Introduction to Literature, it’s believed that Hawthorne wrote “The Birthmark” because he was, “burdened by a deep sense of guilt for his family’s role in the notorious Salem witch trials over a century before he was born (one ancestor was a judge)” and that “Hawthorne used fiction as a means of exploring the moral dimension of sin and human soul (Mays 339).” The symbols that Hawthorne uses in the “Birthmark” are the combination of the lab and boudoir, the characteristics of Aylmer and Aminadab, and the actual birthmark itself.
The atmosphere of the boudoir and lab contrast greatly, however, not only does it look physically different, but the aura or feeling of the rooms are the complete opposite. The boudoir is described, by the narrator, as a room filled with “penetrating fragrances” and a look of “enchantment” freed from all imperfections (Hawthorne 344). It is as if Georgiana is in a “pavilion among the clouds” or what one would think heaven would look and feel like (Hawthorne 344). The room has no natural…

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