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The Birthmark

In: English and Literature

Submitted By kishaalexander20
Words 476
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“The Birthmark”, by Nathaniel Hawthorne While reading “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne it reminded me of how society is today. Our society has many ways of manifesting its obsession with physical perfection. In our society people go to extreme lengths to achieve perfection. Even though “The Birthmark” was written more than a century ago it’s an early version of our modern obsession with physical perfection. Society manifests its obsession with physical perfection by having surgical procedures done on a daily basis. In “The Birthmark” Georgiana was born with this birthmark in the shape of her hand on her cheek and her husband is really bothered by the birthmark. After discussing the birthmark Georgina decides to have the birthmark removed. In my opinion this story is about how a man fails when he tries to play god and his failure to understand that perfection is attainable. It also deals with man’s failure to realize that it is our imperfections, not our perfections, which makes us unique. I found myself disliking this story very much. Why couldn’t Aylmer just accept his wife as is, why couldn’t he just realize that she was perfect just the way she was? In trying to “perfect” Georgiana, Aylmer is testing God’s creation. He doesn’t believe that how God created Georgiana is perfect, and he is obsessive about making her his idea of perfection. This story is a perfect example of how society is today and of our obsession with physical perfection is. Even today, people try to play “God” and change things that nature has put in place. Its human curiosity; how much can be changed, how many things can be perfected? As human beings, we are not perfect! It is part of our nature to be flawed one way or another. But there are some who choose to believe the opposing view. Aylmer’s own desire for not accepting his wife for who she was ultimately leads to her death. He achieved perfection in his wife’s beauty, but now she is gone and he cannot enjoy its perfection. Not only that, but he cannot brag about changing what nature left imperfect. Aylmer believes he is better than God, and in the end he realizes that even he has to accept some things in life, and they are better left alone. Aylmer’s obsession with the birthmark on his wife’s face drove him to a madness that clouded his judgment as a scientist, and ultimately cost his wife her life. We can clearly see that if he had stopped to view the overall outcome he probably would have chosen a different path to take. Sometimes things are better left alone like the saying says the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and if we stop to look at the overall picture, then we can accept the things we cannot change.…...

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