First Paper - The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne
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. The theme of Nathaniel Hawthorne's short story "The
Birthmark" is how humans fight forcefully against Nature for
perfection. It is those humans who, eventually, learn that Nature
cannot be changed or revised.
Aylmer was a famous scientist and philosopher who achieved great
wonders. All his life, he has made remarkable discoveries and won
numerous awards. His life revolved around two deep passions - the love
for Nature [perfection] and the love for his wife, Georgiana
[imperfection]. He believes the world is perfect, but little does he
realize his life is rather imperfect.
Georgiana is a very beautiful woman who loved her husband dearly. She
was indeed beautiful with the exception of one flaw - her birthmark.
This single mark lied on her left white cheek that resembled the shape
of a hand. This mark is known as the "crimson hand". Her beauty is
imperfect because of this "fatal mark". Although this beauty mark
hindered Georgiana's beauty in Aylmer's eyes, others don't see this
point. Other people, such as Aminadab, feel that she is beautiful with
or without the "fatal birthmark".
Aylmer was always bothered by her birthmark. Everyday, he goes
hysterical over his wife's birthmark. As a successful scientist who
has accomplished anything and everything, he decides to remove
Georgiana's "fatal mark". He mixes up a concoction which will remove
her birthmark. He realizes that the concoction is dangerous, yet he
proceeds with his task in hope to remove her "fatal mark". His potion,
known as the "elixir of immortality", was a success because he
accomplished what he had asked for. He successfully takes away her
mark but his wife's life is taken away as well.
Perfection vs. Imperfection! Aylmer's life is marked by two passions -
the love for Nature [perfection] and the love of his wife Georgiana
[imperfection]. His love for Nature stood for perfection because he
tries to be more powerful than Nature. He challenges Nature and
perfects everything. But his love for Georgiana stood for imperfection
because of her "fatal mark". This mark prevents her from being
perfect. In a sense, he is forced to choose one over the other. As
much as he wishes to, he cannot choose both. Although his love for her
is deep, he ignorantly chooses to change what Nature has given her. As
a result, he pays for his consequences. His obsession over the beauty
he wants caused him his wife's life. His wife dies because of his view
of her "fatal birthmark" to be imperfect.
Pretty vs. Ugly! There are two views of her "fatal birthmark". Some
men wished it away but others are willing to cope with her "fatal
The quote [p. 307] "Some fastidious persons - but they were
exclusively of her own sex - affirmed that the blood...