My Analysis of The Birthmark
Nathaniel Hawthorne was a romantic era writer. Romantics were literary rebels who wrote about strong emotions, the supernatural and the power of nature (Yates). Romantic love is one of the strongest emotions there is, for example; Romeo and Juliet willing to die because they could not be together. Georgiana was willing to die because her birthmark disgusted her husband that she loved. But Alymer was not willing to live with a little flaw that God placed on the cheek of the woman that he loved. I don’t believe that could have been me. I think I would have had to just move on because I believe that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. What Alymer thought was disgusting someone else would have been willing to live with, Georgiana and her birthmark.
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Georgiana you have led me deeper than ever into the heart of science (Hawthorne). What would make Alymer make such a statement? Was it Alymer’s love for Georgiana and his love of science combined that motivated him to try to rid his wife of the birthmark.
Why was Georgiana willing to die to please her spouse? Today in 2018 that would not happen, I don’t think. Other suitors had told Georgiana that the birthmark enhanced her beauty, why did it repulse Alymer? Aminadab, Alymer’s assistant, said that he would never part with the birthmark.
I have already administered agents powerful enough to do aught except to change your entire physical system (Hawthorne). Alymer knew what he had already given Georgiana, why did he not listen to her when she burst into the laboratory rather than questioning her trust of him? Why did he not ask her if there was something wrong? Why did he not ask her how she was feeling knowing that he had already given her something strong enough to change her entire physical system. Why did Georgiana not tell him her symptoms rather than letting him side track her with questions about trust?
But, being what I find myself, me thinks I am of all mortals the most fit to die (Hawthorne). I wonder why Georgiana made this statement? I think at this point Georgiana knew that she was dying or going to die. I think she knew that nothing was going satisfy Alymer except curing her of her horrific birthmark. I don’t think that Alymer would have ever been content to live with his wife with her birthmark, so Georgiana chose death rather than suffering for a lifetime with his disapproval, unhappiness, and disgust.
How would it have changed the story if Georgiana was the person who was obsessed with the birthmark (thought that it was hideous) and she had forced Alymer (who thought it was beautiful) to remove the birthmark? What do you think would have happened had she lived?
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Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Birthmark. CCC Blackboard ENG 231 Fall 2018, edited by Tajsha N. Eaves, Cleveland Community College. clev.blackboard. Accessed 3 December 2018.
Yates, Kimberly. The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne: Summary, Analysis, and Symbolism. Study.com, Study.com, 1 Mar. 2018, study.com/academy/lesson/the-birthmark-by-nathaniel-hawthorne-summary-analysis.html. Accessed 6 Dec. 2018.
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My Analysis of The Birthmark