Response to The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne

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 Aylmerwas a man who had an affinity for the profession of science and ardent desire to understand philosophy. These two worlds captured his imagination with such intrigue that aligning them both in attempt toward newfound scientific possibility became life’s purpose to him. In his personal life he lacked fulfillment though, realizing he needed love in his life, the task soon became finding opportunity for it after he was captivated by a certain lady. Georgina was a beautiful woman probably the closest to perfection he ever saw. With almost the same intensity put into his interest for science, the conquest for her affection had begun. The hopes of being united with her under bonds of matrimony was his unwavering goal.  After they wed, manifestations of unfulfilled satisfaction began to surface and his love for science skewed into obsession. Thus began a new obsession; one that would sow seeds of division between his faculties of logic and love, and take away –that which might as well have been the greatest blessing to his life. A birthmark on Georgina’s cheek became an object of focus for Aylmer; he expressed dissatisfaction with it to the point that one day, tearful, she began to question his love for her and inquired if his overall feelings had changed. This man neglected to separate the sanctity of their marriage from his own emotional conflict, and instead developed a distorted view of ideals resulting from division of self. A birth mark that Georgiana had became an object of focus that would subconsciously distract him from a greater fact that he was an unhappy man, and instead was displacing despondent projections into their relationship. A mark which blended into her natural tone and at times even called a charm by other seemed to antagonize him, even relating an attachment with the likeness of sin to it. Aylmer should have seen past this minor imperfection and rejoiced in the fact that such a loving and beautiful woman would grace him with her company, but instead lowered himself to something less than admirable. Unfortunately, his problem also became hers as he was able to convince her that she needed to undergo treatment for its removal. Aylmer concocted a home-brewed remedy aimed to cure her of this imperfection but, was met with tragedy, after it proved toxic and she died of poisoning. It took her death for Aylmer to realize how distorted and terrible he was for killing his wife.  


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