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Women In A Nutshell Essay

930 words - 4 pages

Nathaniel Hawthorne is known for his gender based and the role of women in society themes. These themes are clearly seen in his famous work “the Scarlet Letter”. Moreover these themes are also portrayed in this short story “the Birthmark.” The Birthmark is a story about “a man of science” who “persuaded a beautiful woman” to marry him. “Very soon after marriage,” Aylmer wanted his wife Georgina’s birthmark to be removed as it made her imperfect in his eyes. The Birthmark exemplifies the norms, the duties and the obligations of a woman in marriage as well as in her society.
The birthmark, “a crimson stain upon the snow” was an imperfection and a symbol of “his wife’s liability to sin, ...view middle of the document...

But as the story progresses, she starts hating it because of her husband. Georgina “lets the attempt be made at whatever risk. Danger is nothing to me; for life, while this hateful mark makes me the object of your horror and disgust.” She wants him happy. An ideal wife is expected to make her husband content in every possible way. Georgina, lets her husband experiment with her birthmark to remove it and shows immense trust in him and his scientific teachings even though after reading about his failures in his journal. “It has made me worship you more than ever.” Georgina here portrays an ideal wife, obeying her husband.
Furthermore the husband can also be seen as a society. The society has different types of expectations from women. The women, all their life, work towards these expectations that the society has laid down for her. For example, Georgina is willing to remove the birthmark even at the cost of her life. Also, as explained previously, how she eventually starts hating the birthmark after the society (husband) starts expressing its hatred for the “symbol of imperfection”. In the east, society expects a married woman to carry out the traditional norms which are to take care of her husband and his family members. After marriage, an eastern woman sacrifices her dreams for her married life. In this short story, Georgina sacrificed her life for her husband’s contentment and for his scientific career. Society makes very distinct expectations for women as seen in this story to be perfect in your husband’s eyes.
When Georgina enters the laboratory for the procedure of the removal of the birthmark, she shudders and faints. A change in the setting occurs which furthers and supports the role of a woman in a...

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