Symbolism in The Birthmark

The Birthmark, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is a story about using science for good and evil. The main character, Aylmer , loses his wife Georgiana because he wanted to rid her of a “birthmark” that she had on the right side of her cheek. The symbolism in The Birthmark is symbolizing how man will try to save something, but end up destroying it instead. The use of symbolism helps to show this theme throughout the story. Aylmer has been studying science all his life and along with it came knowledge in chemistry and alchemy (White). The two branches were closely related because both tried to change base metals into gold (White).

Alchemy was thought be used good; however, chemists used alchemy to create deadly poisons. The fact that Aylmer knows about both of these branches show that he is good at heart and only wants the best for his wife, Georgiana (White). The use of science shows just how strong Aylmer ‘s love is for his wife because “he spends all his time trying to find a way to get rid of [Georgiana’s birthmark]” (White). The Birthmark symbolizes evil in the story because it marks Georgiana in an ugly manner, which in turn causes her husband stress in finding away to fix it.

The birthmark also represents how man will destroy things when they are trying to save them or make them better. Aylmer could not stand the eyes of his friends and family on Georgiana because they were looking at the birthmark. The birthmark made her seem different from everyone else, which is why Aylmer “convinced himself that he loved her more than ever” (Hawthorne 148). The Birthmark makes people then see what appears to be a flaw in someone, but it can also show how perfect someone is for another person.

The mark put onto Georgiana was only noticeable by Aylmer , so it makes sense that he would notice first. The Birthmark shows how much love Aylmer ‘s had for Georgiana because of how fixated he was on stopping the birthmark from ruining their relationship. The yearning to rid his wife of an imperfection is shown through the symbolism of The Birthmark. Aylmer begins to get mad because he can’t get rid of The Birthmark fast enough. The anger “now became so white-hot, that had not heaven intervened with its frost, I believe he would have tried to destroy me” (Hawthorne 155).

The title character was about to murder his wife because she got in the way and stopped him from completing what he saw as a job (White). The use of The Birthmark symbolizes how people will try and ruin their relationships or friendships over something that is not worth it at all. Aylmer almost committed murder on his innocent wife, which was an act of evil when trying to make something good happen. Aylmer ‘s anger is a form of evil because it causes him to turn on his wife and do something he normally would not have done.

The use of The Birthmark shows how man will hurt others over their imperfections. The Birthmark was only noticeable by Aylmer but he made it as if everyone was staring at his wife’s imperfection, which only drove him to try and fix the problem as soon as possible. The mark that The Birthmark leaves onto Georgiana represents what man does when they wait too long to save someone from being destroyed by evil or mistakes that have been made (White). The perfection Georgiana once had represented her good heart and friendship with all those around her (Hawthorne 150).

The thought of having an imperfection on Georgiana was too much for The Birthmark to handle, so it tried to destroy her. The Birthmark is an example of what man will do when they are trying to save something but end up killing it in the process (White). The good that was once in The Birthmark’s hands turned into evil because The Birthmark used what was perfect about Georgiana and tried to destroy it. Aylmer ‘s obsession with getting rid of The Birthmark shows how he loved Georgina so much that having anything wrong with her would ruin him completely.

The use of symbolism in The Birthmark represents how man destroys other people over innocent mistakes or differences. The loyalty Aylmer had towards his wife symbolizes their bond through purity and perfection that The Birthmark could not understand. The moral lesson The Birthmark shows is that man seeks to destroy what they cannot have the most, which is how The Birthmark wanted to take something away from someone because it was not perfect (White). The conflict The Birthmark puts forth in the story is that Aylmer wants to fix The Birthday so bad, but he ends up ruining what was once good about Georgiana.

The resolution of The Birthmark represents how people will want things so badly to cure them or make them better, but it only ends up making things worse. Man will seek through evil ways to try and fix anything imperfect about themselves or others when trying to save this person from ruin (White). Tying back into The Birthmark, man will look for The Birthday to be flawless and if it is not then they try and destroy what The Birthday represents. The good within The Birthmark was completely destroyed by the evil that Aylmer brought upon himself.

The symbolism of The Birthmark shows how man will destroy others over things which are just misunderstandings or innocent mistakes (White). The moral lesson behind The Birthmark is that perfection can only exist with something when it has no imperfections at all because people will always try their hardest to ruin perfection through acts of evil (White). Nathaniel Hawthorne ‘s story The Birthmark was meant to show how much love someone could have towards another person regardless of any imperfection on them. Georgiana had an imperfection on The Birthday, but Aylmer still loved her with all his heart.

The Birthmark was a representation of what The Birthmark wanted to destroy in order to have perfection between The Birthmark and Georgiana (White). The moral lesson The Birthmark presents is that people will look at their differences or imperfections as something to be destroyed over when these things do not need to ruin things at all (White). The use of symbolism in The Birthmark shows how evil man can become over innocent mistakes and misunderstandings. The love for another person does not consider imperfections because it allows the other person to keep their character and personality (Hawthorne 150).

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