The Birthmark on Aylmer’s wife was an obsession of his, so much so that he became mad with the desire to rid her of it. The story revolves around this concept and the consequences of Aylmer’s actions. The name Nathaniel Hawthorne himself is analogous to The Birthmark . The ‘praise’ given by other scientists/philosophers in regard to The Birthmark , may be seen as analogous to The Letter . The short story The Birthmark is a retelling of the The Aylmers, which was originally published in The New-England Magazine (1835). The characters were based on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s wife, Sophia , and her birthmark.
In Hawthorne’s The Birthmark , the character Aylmer is described as being obsessed with her birthmark. He wishes to rid his girlfriend/wife of it, but she loves it and him too much to allow that to happen. She dies while Aylmer attempts an experimental surgery on her. The short story Paradox In The Birthmark is found in Nathaniel Hawthornes’ Twice-Told Tales collection of short stories . [It has been suggested that there may have been an earlier version of The Birthmark , which may have been created in 1832. ] Irony In The Birthmark
The short story The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne can be considered ironic as Aylmer’s wish to rid The Lady of the House of her birthmark seems unreasonable and irrational, as she loves it too much. The fact that The Lady of The House was about to die from a fatal illness is ironic as had Aylmer not began his experiment on The Lady of The House , she would have died anyway due to an illness, instead he kills her through his experiment. The birthmark The Lady of The House loves may be symbolic of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s wife, Sophia , and her ‘disability’ (her port wine stain birthmark).
The fact that The Birthmark is repeatedly referred to as The Crimson Hand in the short story The Birthmark further illustrates this point. The title Paradox In The Birthmark can be seen as ironic for several reasons. The short story The Birthmark has several paradoxes or possible paradoxes within it. Aylmer’s irrational explanation for wanting to rid his wife/girlfriend of her birthmark – because he felt it was so ugly. The irony here being that Aylmer himself is unaware of how beautiful his wife/girlfriend actually is, thus making him very unqualified to judge The Birthmark .
The birthmark The Lady of The House cannot get rid of, but her husband Aylmer can. The short story The Birthmark is known for being a paradox itself, as the short story seems to have no beginning or end. The reader is dropped into the middle of it and can only attempt to make sense of it from what information they are given by the narrator/protagonist Aylmer , he gives very little away about himself or his wife. The Letter In The Birthmark In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Birthmark , Aylmer discovered a letter left by his predecessors who had attempted to rid their wives/girlfriends of their birthmarks with disastrous results.
This letter may be seen as analogous to The Letter from The Letter In The Birthmark . The letter is a warning to future scientists of the consequences of attempting anything similar. The letter is read by Aylmer and he disregards it, just as The Letter disregards The Crimson Hand in The Letter In The Birthmark . The Characters Of The Birthmark Aylmer – A scientist/philosopher who attempts to rid his wife/girlfriend of her birthmark through an experimental surgery. Aylmers’ name may be seen as analogous to Nathaniel Hawthorne himself – both have their true identities hidden from the reader/audience.
The Lady Of The House – Wife or girlfriend of Aylmer, she has a large birthmark on her cheek which cannot be removed surgically. The Lady of The House dies during The Birthmark . The name The Lady Of The House has patriarchal connotations as does Aylmer’s first name Nathaniel Hawthorne is not known for writing about strong female characters. The first version of The Birthmark may have been written in 1832 – before Nathaniel Hawthorne was married to his wife, Sophia Peabody , so perhaps this short story was hers if it existed earlier than 1832.
It is ironic that Sophia was born with a birthmark on her cheek which would have caused her much distress as a child had she lived today with modern medical technology. The Crimson Hand – Birthmark of The Lady of The House, the punishment inflicted upon women by God according to Aylmer . The Crimson Hand can be seen as a symbol for The Scarlet Letter/ Aylmer’s punishment of The Lady of The House. The Letter In The Birthmark – Irony that the letter written by Aylmer in The Birthmark is only understood after The Lady of The House dies.
A similar case exists in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, The Scarlet Letter , in which The Letter from Hester Prynne to Arthur Dimmesdale cannot be read or understood before its intended audience has died or left the scene. A Summary Of The Birthmark In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, The Birthmark , we are introduced to scientist/philosopher, Aylmer and his wife (or girlfriend) . Aylmer is determined to rid The Lady Of The House of her birthmark which is known as The Crimson Hand – The Scarlet Letter/Aylmer’s punishment.
A letter containing information on how to rid The Lady Of The House of the birthmark was written by past scientists who had tried unsuccessfully. The Letter From The Letter In The Birthmark is read by Aylmer and he disregards its warning, just as The Letter disregards The Crimson Hand in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, The Birthmark . The Lady Of The House dies during an experimental surgery conducted by Aylmer in which he attempts to remove her birthmarks (one on either cheek) surgically without success – leaving her with two scars where the marks were once.
The birthmark can be compared to The Letter in The Birthmark as it is only understood after The Lady Of The House dies. The name The Lady Of The House has patriarchal connotations (much like the name Nathaniel Hawthorne) and may represent Hester Prynne if the story was written before 1832. Nathaniel Hawthorne is not known for writing about strong female characters so this short story may have been his wife’s, Sophia Peabody , had it existed earlier than 1832. The Crimson Hand/Aylmer’s punishment of The Lady Of The House is a symbol for The Scarlet Letter/Aylmer’s punishment of Hester Prynne.
One version of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story may have even been The Scarlet Letter . The Crimson Hand can also be seen as a symbol for The Scarlet Letter/Aylmer’s punishment of The Lady Of The House. The Birthmark – Nathaniel Hawthorne short story in which The Lady Of The House dies during an experimental surgery conducted by Aylmer. The surgical removal of the birthmarks leaves her with two scars on either cheek where the marks were once. The name The Lady Of The House has patriarchal connotations and may represent Hester Prynne if the story was written before 1832.