The imperfect human beings in the birthmark a short story by nathaniel hawthorne

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The imperfect human beings in the birthmark a short story by nathaniel hawthorne

Here is Barbara Klein with the story. A long time ago, there lived a skillful scientist who had experienced a spiritual reaction more striking than any chemical one. He had left his laboratory in the care of his assistant, washed the chemicals from his hands and asked a beautiful woman to become his wife.

In those days new scientific discoveries such as electricity seemed to open paths into the area of miracles. It was not unusual for the love of science to compete with the love of a woman.

SparkNotes: The Birthmark

The scientist's name was Aylmer. He had so totally given himself to scientific studies that he could not be weakened by a second love. His love for his young wife could only be the stronger of the two if it could link itself with his love of science.

Such a union did take place with truly remarkable results. But one day, very soon after their marriage, Aylmer looked at his wife with a troubled expression. But seeing the seriousness of his question, she said, "The mark has so often been called a charm that I was simple enough to imagine it might be so.

No dear, Nature made you so perfectly that this small defect shocks me as being a sign of earthly imperfection.

The imperfect human beings in the birthmark a short story by nathaniel hawthorne

Her face reddened and she burst into tears. You cannot love what shocks you! The mark was usually a deep red color. When Georgiana blushed, the mark became less visible. But when she turned pale, there was the mark, like a red stain upon snow.

The birthmark would come and go with the emotions in her heart. The mark was shaped like a very small human hand.

Georgiana's past lovers used to say that the hand of a magical fairy had touched her face when she was born. Many a gentleman would have risked his life for the honor of kissing that mysterious hand. But other people had different opinions. Some women said the red hand quite destroyed the effect of Georgiana's beauty.

Male observers who did not praise the mark simply wished it away so that they did not see it. After his marriage, Aylmer discovered that this was the case with himself. Had Georgiana been less beautiful, he might have felt his love increased by the prettiness of that little hand. But because she was otherwise so perfect, he found the mark had become unbearable.

Aylmer saw the mark as a sign of his wife's eventual sadness, sickness and death.

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Soon, the birthmark caused him more pain than Georgiana's beauty had ever given him pleasure. During a period that should have been their happiest, Aylmer could only think of this disastrous subject.

With the morning light, Aylmer opened his eyes upon his wife's face and recognized the sign of imperfection. When they sat together in the evening near the fire, he would look at the mark.

Georgiana soon began to fear his look. His expression would make her face go pale. And the birthmark would stand out like a red jewel on white stone.

The mind is in a sad state when sleep cannot control its ghosts and allows them to break free with their secrets. Aylmer now remembered his dream.

He had imagined himself with his assistant Aminadab trying to remove the birthmark with an operation. But the deeper his knife went, the deeper the small hand sank until it had caught hold of Georgiana's heart.Hawthorne was a newlywed when he wrote The Birthmark.

Nathaniel Hawthorne published "The Birthmark" in the The Pioneer in He also happens to be the author of the famous story called, "The Scarlet Letter". graduating from college.) Hawthorne's father, Nathaniel Hathorne, Sr., was a sea captain who died in of yellow fever, when Hawthorne was only four years old, in Raymond, Maine.

Hawthorne attended Bowdoin College at the expense of an uncle from to , befriending classmates Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and future president Franklin Pierce. In Aylmer's mind, the birthmark becomes the symbol of human imperfection.

Some time later, Aylmer tells his wife of a dream he had, in which he tried to surgically remove the birthmark.

Nathaniel Hawthorne - Wikipedia

The deeper he cut, he explains, the deeper the birthmark went, until it was a part of Georgiana's very heart. - The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne In Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "The Birthmark," there are many views on the need for science and its advances.


Hawthorne's protagonist, Aylmer, illustrates his own personal assessment of science. “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne 1.

Plot Overview

The main character in this story is a. Aylmer, a butcher b. Aylmer, a chemist c. Georgiana, Aylmer’s assistant d. Aylmer, a plastic surgeon 2. Aylmer loves a.

his wife, first and foremost b. science above everything else c. astronomy d.

The imperfect human beings in the birthmark a short story by nathaniel hawthorne

fashion 3. Although Aylmer loves Georgiana, he wants to a. "The Birth-Mark" is a short story by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne. The tale examines obsession with human perfection.

It was first published in the March edition of The Pioneer and later appeared in Mosses from an Old Manse, a collection of Hawthorne's short stories published in

SparkNotes: The Birthmark: Plot Overview