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Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Birthmark: Understanding The Birthmark

The story’s tone is one of romantic controversy, a dilemma at a high level of existence. The scientist’s love for his craft competes very intensively with his newfound love for his wife. It is also very psychological, strictly dealing with the raw mind of its subjects as if the ominous narrator told the story from inside their mind, rather than observe it from the outside. He describes the processes that one may take to reach a certain degree of knowledge and to find the elixir of life, which is described in this story as the ultimate goal of the scientific community. Also, the narrator is very opinionated about events in the story.

Georgiana is a fine wife, and a seemingly beautiful one, too. Aylmer expresses deep affection towards his wife, but it is hinted from the beginning that his two passions in life will eventually have to come in conflict. The meaning of the birthmark shifts suddenly in the end, but in the beginning, it is viewed as Georgiana’s ability to be imperfect and to sin. It is in the shape of a human hand because an angel supposedly has a grip on her, linking her to the other world. That is most men’s reactions, but some women viewed it as disastrous to her beauty. Although Aylmer is not initially concerned with it, it eventually gets to him, obsessively occupying himself with it. He would stare at it whenever he had a chance, and tried to be candid about it. When it became apparent that Aylmer was quite concerned with this, Georgiana asked him to elaborate. He was more disgusted by the mark than Georgiana assessed. Her most significant reply to him was “You cannot love what shocks you!”

She is indeed compromising, offering her life in exchange for her husband’s contempt. The bandwagon effect modifies Georgiana’s thinking towards the mark. She then becomes critical of it, begging her husband to remove it in the name of their well being. He devises a plan, and he compares himself to Pygmalion, because he is one historical figure that succeeded in his quest for beauty, and the gods approved of it. I think that this meddling will not be readily approved of by any god. What they did not know, but what she hinted at, was that this mark may be her link to life and spirits.

Essay on the Evil in Hawthorne’s Young Goodman Brown

The Evil in Young Goodman Brown

In my interpretation of the story, I will be discussing three main topics: the beginning conversation with Faith, the devilish character, and Brown’s wife’s meaning in the story. Young Goodman Brown is about to take a journey like many others before him, across the threshold separating the young unknowing boys and the elderly sages. This, however, will not be without peril, because aging is a testing process defined by trial and error, and the errors’ prices are sometimes significant.

This errand he is undertaking has an evil purpose. It seems as though this night has been foreseen long ago by both Faith and Goodman Brown. The wife begs him that, of all nights, he should stay this one home because she senses trouble. The purpose of the journey is not discussed, because it is the passage b…

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…; The last paragraph of the story indicates that this was not just a journey to mature, because he died like a heathen, away from the religious community. He strayed his faith and he was punished for this. Gloom is a big part of this story, symbolizing the forest, unknown, and evil. The fact that every person in Salem, sinful or pious, was present in the forest can reflect some humor. They act as zombies by night, and normal people by day, pretending one faith in the gloom, and returning to church at dawn.

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