English 1020 Essay

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Professor Wheeler English 1020 MW “The Birth-Mark” Essay 23 November 2014 Imperfections “The Birth-Mark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne discusses the personal imperfection of a not so perfect man. The main character Aylmer is a distinguished scientist who marries Georgiana, a beautiful woman who has a small birthmark on her cheek. The mark is described to be in the shape of a human hand and filled with redness. Unfortunately, as their marriage continues Aylmer finds the birthmark to be more intolerable than before. Latter, the narrative proceeds with Aylmer yearning to remove the birthmark from his wife’s face. Oscar Wilde creates a similar narrative called “The Portrait of Dorian Gray.” The narrative demonstrates the power of perfection. Dorian Gray meets a gentleman named Lord Henry and they become good friends. The friend Lord Henry soon shares his views on life and convinces him to value beauty above all other things. The young and vulnerable Dorian Gray undergoes a change from good to evil due to his illusion of remaining perfect. Nathaniel Hawthorne and Oscar Wilde show similarities in main characters in their narratives through the use of symbolism, characterization, and theme. Hawthorne and Wilde both distinctively show greed and manipulation in the main characters through the use of symbolism. The birthmark upon Georgiana’s face exemplifies greed in Hawthorne’s narrative “The Birth-Mark.” Other character in the narrative thought of Georgiana was overall beautiful regardless of the birthmark upon her face. For example, Aminadab states on page 216, “If she were my wife, I’d never part with that birth-mark” (Hawthorne). Aylmer also demonstrates greed because in the beginning of the narrative his love for his wife rivaled his love for science which was unusual. Aylmer referred to his wife as a beautiful woman; however, as the reader continues, one can see the

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