Science Vs. Nature As A Means Of Obtaining Perfection In The Birthmark By Nathaniel Hawthorne

1135 words - 5 pages

Although we may mask our insecurities with false confidence and bravado, deep down most people crave perfection. As the majority of us learn as we age, this idea of “perfection” is unobtainable. The older we get, the more we tend to accept the flaws and imperfections that make us individuals. However, there are others who never learn the hard lesson of acceptance. Instead they spend ridiculous amounts of money on surgeries, creams and concoctions in order to rid themselves of these marks and insecurities. It’s a constant battle, a fork in the road if you may, between science and nature. On one side there’s the high-road of nature and acceptance, and on the other there’s the scientific ...view middle of the document...

He gives her this concoction and is happy to see the mark start to leave her face; only to have his wife tell him it is draining her life as well. At this point we begin to see Hawthorne’s view of science rising to the surface. It’s obvious that he’s trying to prove a point by making Aylmer’s experimentation and unwillingness to accept imperfections the essential cause of his beloved wife’s demise. If Aylmer had simply accepted his wife’s strange mark as a part of her rare beauty, as so many suitors before him had done, Georgiana never would’ve fallen ill when the birthmark began to leave her cheek.
Aylmer was enamored with his work; he loved science more than he could ever love another person. However he was also unhappy with himself, and as a result of his low self-esteem and lack of confidence, he was utterly convinced that he must have a flawless wife in order to compensate. These insecurities caused him to develop a bit of a complex, eventually turning him into a self-serving individual whose only goal was to make his wife perfect for his own sake (Cutajar). With all of that being said, he did truly love his wife, and in his own bizarre way he wanted her to be perfect for her sake, because he believed that she deserved no less. In his irrational quest for her perfection, which is impossible in the material sense, he destroyed her (Sorensen). What Aylmer failed to comprehend was the undeniable fact that love is about acceptance. When you truly love someone, you accept their faults and issues. Trying to change someone to fit your mental mold of perfection is impossible, as well as unfair to your loved one. You’re supposed to love people despite their downfalls and mishaps in character, not force them into becoming someone else entirely. If Aylmer had learned this lesson by learning to love himself before searching for a spouse to “complete him” perhaps he and Georgiana would’ve had a happier ending.
Aylmer's wife Georgiana was at first a happy woman; married to someone she believed to be a great man, until one day her husband tells her that the mark upon her cheek might be removed. A very prominent characteristic of Georgiana is her undying love, loyalty,...

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