The Cost Of Perfection

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The Cost of Perfection As a scientist, Aylmer strived for perfection. As a husband, he became obsessed with making his wife perfect. In Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Birthmark" Aylmer tried to correct what he deemed as Nature's mistake, too late, he realized that perfection did not exist.

As a scientist, Aylmer had devoted his time to scientific studies in an effort to make the world a better place. As devoted as Aylmer was to his scientific studies, he yearned for a fulfilling married life. Therefore, he left his laboratory in the capable hands of his assistant in pursuit of a bride and found Georgiana. She was very beautiful, in fact almost perfect except for the tiny birthmark on her left cheek. If she blushed or turned pale, the birthmark would darken. Through the years Georgianna had come to see this mark as a mark of beauty. She believed the mark only enhanced her beauty; in fact, the mark added a touch of mystery to her.

What Georgiana saw as a beauty mark, her husband saw as a mistake that Nature had made.

To Aylmer, Georgiana would be perfect if her cheek had not been flawed. He began to obsess about correcting Nature's mistake and removing the crimson mark that flawed his beautiful wife's face. When Aylmer finally confessed his true feelings about the mark to Georgiana, she was devastated. She was even more stunned when he asked her to have the mark removed. Aylmer explained to Georgiana that she was so nearly perfect that the slightest defect made her imperfect.

Aylmer dreamed about being able to correct the mistake that Nature had left on Georgiana's cheek. She began to feel self-conscious when Aylmer would look at her, and would cringe when she saw the disgust on his face. Finally,