The Importance Of Narcissism In Hawthorne's The Birthmark

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In Hawthorne’s short story “The Birthmark,” Aylmer is a brilliant yet misguided philosopher who is overly obsessed with his wife Georgiana’s birthmark. The red birthmark is placed on the left side of her face and is shaped like a hand. He begins to strongly hate the birthmark and bluntly tells his wife that it must be removed because the birthmark is her only flaw. Aylmer decides to use her as an experiment to get rid of the birthmark to make her his idea of perfect. Of course with the help from Aylmer’s assistant Aminadad. Overall, his intentions are to untimely kill his wife because of his selfish wants and needs as a result to the experiment.
To describe someone like Aylmer, he would be a person who has narcissistic personality disorder.
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He craves the endless power that Mother Nature has and will stop at nothing to achieve it. Aylmer loves showing off his achievements and what he has discovered in his laboratory. In the short story, Aylmer tells Georgina about alchemy. Alchemy is taking something that is plain and ordinary and making it more than it really is. Aylmer explains, “He had investigated the secrets of the highest cloud region, and of the profoundest mines; he had satisfied himself of the causes that kindled and kept alive the fires of the volcano; and had explained the mystery of fountains…” (218). Aylmer spends a great amount of time trying so hard to understand the truth about the earth and how it all works when that is just his narcissistic ego coming out. Narcissists’ will do anything to show they have the upper hand and by Aylmer trying to be above Mother Nature proves he thrives off being in control and having that above all …show more content…
Like Rosenthal expressed in his article, “Narcissistic leaders have grandiose belief systems and leadership styles, and are generally motivated by their needs for power and admiration rather than empathetic concern for the constituents and institutions they lead.” In Hawthorne’s short story, Aylmer shows all of these traits when it comes down to his wife Georgiana, his assistant Aminadad and science. In conclusion, like Miller says in his article, “Narcissistic traits include, grandiosity, self-centeredness, callousness, entitlement, and manipulative.” All of these traits sum up Aylmer

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