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Nathaniel Hawthorne has written many short stories that have common themes One of these common themes is science versus nature and God Hawthorne was writing during a time when many people were trying to use science to explain phenomenon that had always been attributed to a divine power In Hawthornes Rappaccinis Daughter The Birthmark and Dr Heideggers Experiment science has a negative effect on those who meddle with it and sometimes innocents suffer too Hawthorne uses these works to denounce science as a substitute for faith and love In The Birthmark Aylmer becomes so obsessed with making Georgina perfect that it causes both their downfalls He becomes so confident is his ability to mold and change nature that he acquires a God complex Although the idea of religion is not a main idea in the plot Hawthorne brilliantly uses language to convey his point language which may be either literal or figurative but in either case has influential overtones What we find recurrently in The Birthmark and therefore insistently asking to be taken into account is the terminology and imagery of religion Specifically religious problems are not overtly introduced into the story but the language of religion is there for so unfailingly that like iterative imagery in drama and poetry it must be closely inspected if a final reading of the story is to be complete Heilman p 189 As the story continues we see that Georgina also considers Aylmer to be God-like in his science Science has been substituted as religion in this relationship Georgina thinks of Aylmers devotion to her-to the perfect her- as holy love What is made clear by such terms which function precisely like poetic images is that science itself has become religion able to provide an ultimate account of reality and therefore to exact complete human dedication Heilman p 189 Instead of believing in God and the natural beauty she was blessed with
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