Nearly Perfect

In: English and Literature

Submitted By dutchey69
Words 770
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“Nearly Perfect”
An Analysis of “The Birth-Mark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Samantha Truglio
Professor Baber
Composition II #2043
11 October 2014
Word Count 727

Samantha Truglio
Professor Baber
Composition II 2043
11 October 2014
Nearly Perfect
An Analysis of “The Birth-Mark” In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “The Birth-Mark”, he shows us the folly of human nature and our obsession with perfection. Hawthorne conveys his message through his main characters Aylmer, a scientist and lover of nature, and his beautiful wife, Georgina, who bears a small, crimson colored, hand-shaped birthmark upon her left cheek. Despite the amount of love that Aylmer has for his wife, he can’t help but to become engulfed with the mark that stains his wife’s cheek that keeps her from being perfect. Being a man of science he decides to create an elixir to remove her one flaw. “The Birth-Mark” is a story filled with potent symbolism to illustrate the scientist’s superficial endeavor, destructive irony, and a theme that provides us with moral allegory.
The birth mark represents various things throughout the story, the most predominate symbol in this story is Georgina’s birthmark, which symbolizes the imperfection of human nature and mortality. Georgina was admired by many men, for she “came so nearly perfect from the hand of Nature” (Hawthorne 291), but the only man she craved admiration from was Aylmer, who was not able to get past the slightest defect that blessed her cheek. The presence of the crimson stain deeply takes over his mind and dreams, it deeply disturbs him because it reminds him of his wife's humanity and mortality when he is on a quest for divine perfection. Though the birthmark is undoubtedly the bluntest use of symbolism in this story, Aylmer and Aminadab, Aylmer’s under worker, demonstrate symbolic characterization. In a few instances, Aylmer is…...

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