Perfection in Story the Birthmark

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Kim Kardashian, Belcalis Almanzar (Cardi B), and Onika Tanya Maraj (Nicki Minaj) are all women people look to for the ideal thought of perfection. Each of these women has an hourglass figure, clear skin, and a flat stomach. It’s easy for people to belittle themselves when compared to women like this because people are taught to believe that they are the epitome of perfection. These women were not born the way they look now though, each one of the women named has surgical work done on them to reach the perfect state they’re at now. In the short story The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne,  a scientist named Aylmer believed perfection was attainable with help from science, but when he actually reaches perfection by removing, his wife, Georgina’s birthmark he pays the cost with her life. Georgina’s death is proof that if one tries to reach for perfection by changing any physical feature, they are actually killing what makes them, them.

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        Nathaniel Hawthorne is an American novelist and short story writer who was born in 1804 in Salem, Massachusetts. His fiction works are mostly categorized as dark romanticism. His themes often center on the inherent evil and sin of humanity, and most of the time his work has moral messages and deep psychological complexity. Hawthorne’s short story The Birthmark was written in the year 1843. The story has a total of two main characters and one supporting character. Aylmer is a scientist who has put a hold on his career and  life of experiments to marry Georgiana. Georgina was described as physically gorgeous, except for a small hand-shaped birthmark on her left cheek. Both are in love and get married, but Aylmer becomes unnaturally obsessed with the birthmark on Georgiana’s cheek. Aylmer was so obsessed it got to the point where he had dreams of cutting her birthmark off. Georgiana found out that her husband was appalled by her birthmark, so she decided that she would risk her life having the birthmark removed from her cheek if it meant that Aylmer’s disgust that overruns him when he sees her would disappear as well.

The next day, Aylmer decides to take Georgiana where he has his laboratory. This is where the third character is introduced, Aminidab,  Aylmer’s assistant. Aminidab is characterized as a hulking and somewhat dirty man, he is an able helper but disaproves of Aylmer’s desire to erase Georgiana’s birthmark. Aminadab represents the physical nature of man and his disapproval and disgust represent sort of a strong incrimination on Aylmer. Aylmer glances at his wife casually but can’t help but shudder violently at seeing her imperfection, he was determined to fix her.  After a while of conversation between the two, Georgiana agrees to drink a potion Aylmer created for her despite his warning that it might be dangerous. Aylmer brings a newly created potion which he tests on a plant nearby causing it to rejuvenate with only a few drops. Georgina then drinks the potion and quickly falls asleep. Aylmer watches the birthmark fade little by little, which brings him inner happiness. Once it is nearly gone, Georgiana wakes up and is pleased to see the results. However, the potion had side effects, and Georgiana soon tells her husband that she is dying. Once the birthmark fades completely, Georgiana dies along with it.

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Perfection In Story The Birthmark. (2019, Dec 11). Retrieved December 1, 2022 , from
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