Symbolism- The birthmark represents the imperfection of mortality. For instance, Georgiana is hardly complex and in fact, is a frustratingly obedient, patient, and meek woman. Were I weaker and blinder it might be happiness. Watch the stain of the rainbow fading out the sky, and you will know how that mysterious symbol passed away. Georgiana wakes and sees her reflection in a mirror.
The two most powerful are obsession and the conflict between nature and science. Setting- Hawthorne lived from 1804 to 1864. Some have speculated that the mark came from a fairy touching Georgiana at the moment of her birth and giving her those most alluring qualities that allowed her to attract so many men. Aminadab laughs at the outcome rather cryptically. However, he gave up on this attempt because nature makes it easy to mess things up, only rarely makes it possible to fix things, and definitely does not allow the creation of life from nothing. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title. She sings to him, restoring his spirits.
He had left his laboratory to the care of an assistant, cleared his fine countenance from the furnace smoke, washed the stain of acids from his fingers, and persuaded a beautiful woman to become his wife. Furthermore, Aylmer is obviously not as confident as he wants Georgiana to think he is. Imagine if the person you loved couldn't stop talking about how unattractive your face was! She begins to feel unloved and imperfect, so much, that she is willing to risk everything to get the birthmark erased. He was pale as death, anxious and absorbed, and hung over the furnace as if it depended upon his utmost watchfulness whether the liquid which it was distilling should be the draught of immortal happiness or misery. Reynolds, A Historical Guide to Nathaniel Hawthorne, New York: Oxford University Press, pp.
However, Aylmer seems to be failing so far. She tells Aylmer that he should try to remove the birthmark, even if his efforts kill her. It's also foreshadowing as to the story's ending; we know from the start that Aylmer is a fool to think he can rid her of something so deeply engrained in her face literally and character symbolically. Arrogant and overconfident in his abilities, he asks how he can change nature—not if he should change it. Around the room were retorts, tubes, cylinders, crucibles, and other apparatus of chemical research. Still, to figure out how to remove the birthmark, Aylmer returns to his old pursuits concerning the chemical origins of life.
Soon after, he brings her the potion and the potion is proven to be effective, in some respects, by rejuvenating a nearby plant with but a few drops. The birthmark was the only thing keeping her divine spirit connected to a human body, and as the birthmark disappears entirely, her soul goes up to heaven. In this case, the main character Aylmer suffers from over-ambition and blind obsession. When Aylmer remembers the details of his dream, Georgiana declares that she would risk her life having the birthmark removed from her cheek rather than to continue to endure Aylmer's horror and distress that comes upon him when he sees her. Aylmer represents spirit and heaven where as Aminadab represents matter and earth. One interpretation of this story is that the birthmark represents Georgiana's sexuality.
She remained not less pale than ever; but the birthmark with every breath that came and went, lost somewhat of its former distinctness. He shows her another potion that can erase out any freckles, but he believes her scar will need a much deeper cure. Georgiana again displays her submission to Aylmer and her willingness to sacrifice herself to his egotistical experiments. Aylmer sat by her side, watching her aspect with the emotions proper to a man the whole value of whose existence was involved in the process now to be tested. Also, she says that the only danger is that the birthmark will be left after drinking Aylmer's potion. Nature begins to make its power felt here, as natural light enters the room for the first time and Aminadab, the man of the earth, is heard laughing with apparent triumph. He seeks to remove his wife's birthmark - the symbol of necessarily flawed humanity - and make her perfect.
That a man of so many failures would be trying to perfect someone else is both ironic and allegorical. He informs her of a particular poison that depending on the dosage, can kill someone instantly or over a period of time. Aylmer watches her anxiously, observing every little change in his wife and writing them all down in his journal. He shows her how it cures a geranium of blots. Aylmer and Aminadab are quite clearly positioned as opposites, with Aylmer the intellectual man connected to the divine and Aminadab the simple, physical man connected to nature. Forthwith there issued from an inner apartment a man of low stature, but bulky frame, with shaggy hair hanging about his visage, which was grimed with the vapors of the furnace. Its presence had been awful; its departure was more awful still.
The birthmark is a concrete symbol of this flaw. But what chiefly, indeed almost solely, drew her attention, was the aspect of Aylmer himself. In the laboratory we meet Aminadab, Aylmer's assistant, who is stocky and earthly in contrast to the spiritual and lofty Aylmer. The birthmark fades gradually into non-existence, but at the cost of Georgiana's life, who dies immediately after the success of her treatment. He glances at Georgiana casually and normally but can't help but shudder violently at seeing her imperfection; Aylmer's reaction causes her to faint. But when the picture is ready, it prominently shows her birthmark, and so he throws it into acid.
Georgiana says that she will risk her life to have the birthmark erased. Obsession: The Romantic authors thought strong emotions were important; however, Hawthorne shows that when love becomes an obsession, it is dangerous, even deadly. He doesn't like the birthmark; he thinks Georgiana would be perfect if it were removed. Georgiana's death is foreshadowed in Aylmer's dream of cutting out the mark, in which he discovers the birthmark is connected to her heart. But Hawthorne complicates the idea by specifying that it was the shape of a human hand - it is simultaneously the mark of Georgiana's humanity and mortality.
The very first mention of the birthmark occurs when Aylmer asks about its possible removal, foreshadowing the rest of the plot. The momentary circumstance was too strong for him; he failed to look beyond the shadowy scope of time, and, living once for all in eternity, to find the perfect future in the present. Her only flaw is a small red birthmark shaped like a tiny hand on her left cheek. She does not consider losing her life as a danger. Aylmer reassures her that he now loves the birthmark because it will be so wonderful to get rid of it. In his single-minded pursuit of this ideal, Aylmer ignores all the warning signs urging him to stop.