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Word Count: 935
On the face of a woman with such beauty there is an awful mark that stands between the happiness of two people At first glance something as cosmetic as a birthmark may never create such a troublesome predicament for the average person In the case of Nathaniel Hawthornes short story The Birthmark the character Aylmer is struggling with the seemingly unruly crimson hand-shaped birthmark that stains his wifes face The birthmark Georgiana believes as many have told her is somewhat of a charm Aylmer believes that upon her face it could never be considered a mark of beauty rather that it is better seen as her fatal flaw of humanity and reminder of her mortality He finds himself wishing it away obsessed with ridding someone so near perfection of such an indecent trait His attempt to remove it can be viewed as his attempt to remove her flaws and defy the innate humanity in which everyone has at least one thing holding them back from true perfection Hawthornes short story delves into further detailed symbolism of perfection in terms of science religion and humanity The Birthmark represents a true dispute of the Enlightenment period in which the story was set between the ever-growing faith in science and the dwindling hope that religion could answer the same questions However Hawthorne was writing during the start of what is known as the Romantic Era in which strong emotion took place over reason What symbolism does he use to format the readers position on the characters and moral of the story In what way does the historical context of society and Hawthornes personal life play a role in shaping this storyAs many of Nathaniel Hawthornes writings were The Birthmark is filled with metaphors and symbolism Aylmer a mad scientist plants his faith in science to resolve the issue of Georgianas flaws During the Enlightenment period it was not uncommon for people to believe more highly in the
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