The Birthmark By Nathaniel Hawthoorne

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade March 2001

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Different people view Science and scientific advancements differently. Some say that the progression of our scientific understanding of the world makes us lose touch with the religious and/or spiritual side of the world. Other say that because of science, we know more about our world and this helps us make changes to our world to make it better. Because of man's pursuit of perfection. Science now plays a big and significant role in everyday life. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's short fiction, "The Birthmark", Aylmer views science as the most important thing in his life. Because of this, he loses sight on what is really important to him, and it is this love for science that destroys it.

Aylmer was a scientist who had a beautiful wife. He had, unfortunately, "devoted himself too unreservedly to scientific studies ever to be weaned from them by any second passion. His love for his young wife might prove the stronger of the two, but could only be intertwining itself with his love of science and uniting the strength of the latter to his own".

This quotation, early in the story, introduces us to Aylmer's views upon science. He finds science as to be his way of making the world a better place. Aylmer's wife's name is Georgiana and she is very beautiful and a good wife. The only thing that is noticeably wrong her is a tiny red birthmark on her cheek. One day, Aylmer has an idea. His idea is to remove this flaw from his wife's cheek. This is where Aylmer's love of science costs him dearly.

I think Aylmer saw Georgiana as more of a subject than a wife. I do not remember any point in the story where he actually showed her any love or affection. He seemed happier...