The Birthmark By Nathaniel Hawthorne Essay

1137 Words 5 Pages
Mortality of a Birthmark

Perfection is impossible to achieve. In the short story The Birthmark, by Nathaniel Hawthorne, a scientist tries to rid his wife of her birthmark. Alymer, the scientist, becomes so focused on the one imperfection his wife, Georgiana, has that he loses focus on how lovely she truly is. Hawthorne uses many elements of fiction throughout the story that further his readers’ understanding of his lessons and his writings. Among these elements are symbolism, theme, characterization, and setting. However, Hawthorne uses symbolism the most throughout his writing, not just in objects, but in characters as well.

One of the first times that a symbol is mentioned is the birthmark that rests upon Georgiana’s cheek, it is a symbol of imperfection. The symbol also helps to describe a character’s physical features. At first, Georgiana loves her birthmark, she believes that it makes her special. In the beginning Hawthorne narrates, “The mark was shaped like a very small human hand. Georgiana 's past lovers used to say that the hand of a magical fairy had touched her face when she was born. Many a gentleman would have risked his life for the honor of kissing that mysterious hand” (Hawthorne). She saw it as a gift because others around her also saw it as a gift. Georgiana, however, soon started to see her birthmark as an imperfection. She looked at it as an imperfection because her husband, Aylmer, kept referring to it as an imperfection. He believed it was…

Related Documents