"The Birthmark", by Nathaniel Hawthorn. Essay Title: The "Perfect" Science; The Birthmark or the Beauty Mark.

Essay by HumbickHigh School, 11th gradeA, February 2003

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Essay Thesis: This essay is generally about how the author of the short story, Hawthorne, wants to show the world that perfection is not beauty and that science should not alter the way that nature set man on this world to be. He was a major asset to the transcendental movement, and this short story is a perfect example why.

In Nathaniel Hawthorne'sThe Birthmark, the main character, Aylmer, wants to have a perfect wife. His wife, Georgiana, is a very beautiful woman with just one flaw, the Birthmark on her face. As a scientist, Aylmer tries to create an elixir that will rid Georgiana of her birthmark, thus making her perfect. According to Hawthorne, however, this is not possible.

During the transcendental phase of American life, which included literature from Hawthorne, transcendental writers would promote Nature and its importance. In The Birthmark, Nathaniel Hawthorne tries to show the people that nature does not make anything flawless, and that this is the beauty of it.

"Nature, in one shape or another, stamps ineffaceably on all her productions." (Hawthorne) Nathaniel Hawthorne tries to pass a message to the world that science should not interfere with nature's way of having people live. Hawthorne portrays Aylmer as being stupid for trying to create formulas that would extend life. "Aylmer appeared to believe that, by the plainest scientific logic, it was altogether within the limits of possibility to discover this long-sought medium." (Hawthorne)

Unlike Aylmer, Georgiana is signified as an image of both physical and intellectual beauty. Hawthorne shows physical beauty in her by showing her beautiful attributes, while adding that flaws can make somebody even more perfect, as this shows nature's effect on this person. Hawthorne also shows a great amount of faith and transcendentalism in Georgiana. He does this by...