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Hawthornes Contemporary Mind There have been many writers who have astonished the literary world with their configuration of short stories but none of them have perfected the art as well as Nathaniel Hawthorne Hawthorne wrote in a time period when Fredrick Douglas was paving the road to racial freedom Ralph Waldo Emerson wanted to world to be seen through the transparent eyeball and Henry David Thoreau was living the unfettered life In comparison to the modern writings of his time Hawthornes style was viewed as outdated nonetheless Hawthorne addressed modern issues in the symbols and themes of his stories Through the use of symbols and themes the short story The Birthmark is the best example of Hawthorne representing modern issues Through his use of symbolism Hawthorne addresses the issue of the fatal flaw of humanity that nature imposes upon everyone He addresses the issue of man manipulating nature through the theme of the story While some might have viewed Hawthornes writing style as outdated he focused on issues that are modern and contemporary to his time The modern issue of mans ability to manipulate nature and the results of that manipulation is seen in a scientists obsession with perfecting nature Through husbands obsession with perfecting his wife Hawthorne conveys the modern issue of mans ability to control nature The central characters in Hawthornes story The Birthmark are Aylmer and Georgiana Aylmer and Georgina are in love yet there is a twist to the love that Aylmer possess for his wife Georgina is perfect in every way except for one tiny flaw on her cheek Nature has imposed upon her a tiny red birthmark which is the obstacle in the love that Aylmer has for Georgiana As a scientist Aylmer is obsessed with the act of manipulating nature this obsession is blossomed with the imperfection that Georgiana posses Seeing her otherwise so perfect he found this one defect grow more and more intolerable with
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