The Birthmark Essay

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Imperfection of “The Birth-Mark” In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “The Birth-Mark” Hawthorne uses symbolism to portrait earthly imperfection. In this short story there are many examples of imperfection but Aminadab, Aylmer and the birthmark itself are the major examples of imperfection in The Birth-Mark. Aminadab is Aylmer’s assistant and Hawthorne describes him “with his vast strength, his shaggy hair, his smoky aspect, and the indescribable earthiness that incrusted him (Hawthorne, The Birth-Mark 323).” The way Aminadab is described tells us that Aminadab represents mans imperfect human half. Aminadab is a Hebrew name that translates to my nation is noble, Connor thinks that Aminadab “is an interesting choice, considering that Aylmer, the mad scientist of the story, speaks to Aminadab in a derogatory manner, referring to him as a human machine and a man of clay.” (Connor, 258). Aylmer is blinded by ambition and is determined to remove the birthmark from his wife’s cheek. Aylmer submerges himself into science trying to find a way to correct what he says is a visible mark of earthly imperfection. Aylmer’s love for science rivals his love for Georgiana which causes him to be blinded. While talking with Georgiana about the birthmark he says “No dearest Georgiana, you came so nearly perfect from the hand of nature, that this slightest possible defect, which we hesitate whether to term a defect or a beauty, shocks me as being the visible mark of earthly imperfection (Hawthorne 314).” By doing so he tries to play the role of god and take into his own hands something he says is imperfect and make it perfect with science these kinds of things shouldn’t be controlled my mere humans. In doing so Aylmer matches his scientific abilities against nature itself and in the end nature won taking away from the earth the closest thing to perfection Georgiana. The

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