Plot summary[ edit ] Aylmer is a brilliant and recognized scientist and philosopher who has dropped his focus from his career and experiments to marry the beautiful Georgiana who is physically perfect except for a small red birthmark in the shape of a hand on her cheek. As the story progresses, Aylmer becomes unnaturally obsessed with the birthmark on Georgiana's cheek. One night, he dreams of cutting the birthmark out of his wife's cheek removing it like scraping the skin from an apple and then continuing all the way to her heart.
Plot summary[ edit ] Aylmer is a brilliant and recognized scientist and philosopher who has dropped his focus from his career and experiments to marry the beautiful Georgiana who is physically perfect except for a small red birthmark in the shape of a hand on her cheek. He does not remember this dream until Georgiana asks about what his sleep-talking meant.
The following day, Aylmer deliberates upon and then decides to take Georgiana to the apartments where he keeps a laboratory. When she awakens, he treats her warmly and comforts her with some of his scientific concoctions but when he attempts to take a portrait of her, the image is blurred save for her birthmark revealing the disgust he has of it.
He experiments some more and describes some of the successes to her but as he questions how she is feeling, Georgiana begins to suspect that Aylmer has been experimenting on her the entire time without her knowledge and consent.
Aylmer catches her investigating, and accuses her of spying on him in the laboratory, and potentially damaging his valuable and delicate instruments.
They argue briefly but not intensely. Georgiana then agrees to drink a potion Aylmer has concocted for her despite his warning that it might be dangerous to do so and may carry unexpected side effects.
Soon after, he brings her the potion and the potion is proven to be effective, in some respects, by rejuvenating a nearby plant with but a few drops. Upon seeing this and trusting her distressed husband, Georgiana drinks the concocted potion and promptly falls asleep.
Aylmer watches the birthmark fade little by little. Once it is nearly gone, Georgiana wakes up and is pleased like Aylmer to see the results. However, the potion had side effects, and Georgiana soon tells her husband that she is slowly dying. Once the birthmark fades completely, Georgiana dies with it.
Analysis[ edit ] Like many of the tales Hawthorne wrote during his time living in The Old Manse"The Birth-Mark" discusses the psychological impact in sexual relations. That a man of so many failures would be trying to perfect someone else is both ironic and allegorical.
Rather than focusing on their own failures, they instead made a life of pointing out the mistakes and flaws of others, regardless of whether they truly existed.
Similarly, Puritans separated themselves from everything and everyone with beliefs contrary to their own.[tags: Birthmark Essays] Good Essays words ( pages) Obsession in Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Birthmark Essay - Scientific research concerning living organisims is usually beneficial.
Most medical practices are beneficial; they are done to cure people from illness and to save people's lives. This item: The Birthmark: Includes MLA Style Citations for Scholarly Secondary Sources, Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles and Critical Essays (Squid Ink Classics) Set up a giveaway Customers who viewed this item also viewed/5(13).
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The Birthmark Thesis Statements and Important Quotes Below you will find four outstanding thesis statements for “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne that can be used as essay starters or paper topics.
Literary Analysis of "The Birthmark" Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "The Birthmark" shows the foolishness of endeavoring to create a perfect being, and by doing so, intruding upon the realm of the divine.