The Birthmark

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The Birthmark Infographics

“If she were my wife, I’d never part with that birthmark.” 

About The Author 

Nathaniel Hawthorne was an American novelist who wrote a darkly romantic and short story. He is one of the famous fiction writers in the American language. Some of his best works are The Scarlet Letter, Twice-Told Tales, and The House of the Seven Gables. People criticized him for the depiction of women in his works. However, Some authors praised Hawthorne for his moral insight. His literary styles are remarkable for its directness, its clarity, its firmness, and its sureness of idioms. He was concerned with the concepts of law and conscience.

About The Novel

The main character of this story, Aylmer, is a scientist who is proficient in every branch of natural philosophy. He marries a beautiful young lady, Georgiana, who had the birthmark on her cheek in the shape of a crimson hand. She believed that it spoils her beauty, but most men find it charming. However, Aylmer gets obsessed with her birthmark as the only flaw. So he tries to remove it. Most of the Alymer’s experiments were magnificent failures, though he experimented on his wife to remove the birthmark. Somehow he got succeeded, and the birthmark blemished. But Georgiana died, as the birthmark is mortality itself.

Genre: Novel

Tone: Disgusted

Type: Horror

Year of publication: 1843 

 

Significant Characters

 Aylmer: He is a brilliant scientist, selfish, cruel, and protagonist of the story. He is famous in the scientific community. He created a potent poison.

 Georgiana: She is Aylmer’s wife. She is a beautiful woman with a birthmark, which is her only blemish. Georgiana fulfills his husband’s unreasonable demand.

Aminadab: He is disapproving, Aylmer’s helper yet. Aminadab feels compassion for Georgiana more than his husband. He is disgusted by Aylmer’s desire to erase Georgiana’s birthmark.

 

Themes 

  • Science- The story of The Birthmark revolves around the scientific experiments
  • Nature- The author tries to explain that natural beauty is the real beauty
  • Perfection- Georgiana was perfect in every way except the birthmark
  • Fatal Pride- Alymer’s disastrous pride results in the death of his wife
  • Submission- Georgiana unquestionably obeys her husband’s every wish
  • Sacrifice- She suggests her husband remove the birthmark since it bothers him a lot
  • Mortality- The birthmark in itself stands for mortality.

Famous Quotes from The Birthmark 

  • You cannot love what shocks you! 
  • If there be the remotest possibility of it, let the attempt be made, at whatever risk. 
  • If she were my wife, I’d never part with that birthmark.