Eng. 3 CAS
The Works of Nathaniel Hawthorne
Perhaps the most phenomenal part of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s work is his ability to tie together the intricacies of writing while getting the most out of every paragraph. Combine the effect of each individual paragraph of his work and you get some very powerful and forceful writing that goes well beyond fundamental principles. While the Scarlet Letter is certainly one of his more legendary works, there are elements of the story that tie directly into some of his shorter works. One of his most recognizable features is the effect external influence has on the driving forces in his work.
The Birthmark deals with the phenomenon that ultimately result from one bulging mark which exists on Georgiana’s cheek, and it is nature that ultimately has a significant impact on the story. In order to understand the effects of Mother Nature, it is critical to establish the significance of the birthmark and the character of Aylmer. Georgiana is viewed as the ideal women, both in terms of beauty and allure. However, to her husband Aylmer, this birthmark is the one mark of imperfection existent on her body and he predicates his life in the story to get rid of this imperfection. He obsesses over this birthmark; to the point where his wife hates it herself. As for the personality of Aylmer, the mad scientist is obsessed with Mother Nature. He describes the birthmark in terms of nature, “It was the fatal flaw of humanity which Nature, in one shape or another, stamps ineffaceably on all her productions, either to imply that they are temporary and finite or that their perfection must be wrought by toil and pain” (Hawthorne, “Birthmark” 86). He suggests that her birthmark shows that even nature’s beauty is not perfect.
One of the last sentences of the story is “The fatal hand had grappled with the...