The Birthmark Essay

Submitted By cds8807
Words: 886
Pages: 4

Cody Stewart
The Birthmark
1. Aylmer doesn’t recognize how beautiful his young wife is. Instead, he notices the one minor flaw of the small red mark on her cheek. Many others had appreciated it, but he saw it as a huge flaw and imperfection. This compares to the contemporary obsession with physical perfection because what one person sees and finds attractive might be hideous to someone else. Another similarity to modern society is the fact that the one person that Georgiana loved more than anyone else is the person who judged her so harshly. The people that we seek approval from are the sometimes the hardest on us, which is heartbreaking. This has been publicized and almost rewarded with the fame and popularity that dance moms and pageant moms get. They teach their children that “perfection” is expected at a young age.
2. I don’t think that Aylmer is the typical version of evil, but he is definitely lacking morally. He feels that he is able to judge his wife’s moral character because of a simple mark on her face. He believes that the powerful cosmetic he developed will remove the imperfection and solve all of his problems. He is an idealist because he believes that fixing a physical imperfection will make everything “perfect”. He has no concept of morals and good character because he is too stuck on what people see.
3. Georgiana’s birthmark symbolizes mortality. According to the narrator, every living thing is flawed in some way and this is nature’s way of showing us that everything must die in the end. Without the hand shaped mark, Georgiana would be perfect. This mark is a reminder that she is a mere mortal. The narrator uses Aylmer’s view of her blemish to show his fear of mortality and death. He is a smart man, but his naïve view of the symbol on Georgiana’s face leads him astray. He foolishly thinks that if he can get rid of the birthmark, then he will be able to defeat death.
4. I don’t think that Aylmer loves his wife. I think he loves her as a science experiment. His obsession to defeat death drives him to lose sight of what is important. She agrees to risk her life for him because she loves him so much that she doesn’t see how skewed his views are. She thinks that his love for her makes him want to create an ideal version of her, but the reality is much different. I think if Aylmer would have truly loved his wife, he would have looked beyond her one minor flaw.
5. Aylmer is guilty of the sin of pride because he took great pride in removing her birthmark, even though it killed her in the end. His success meant more than her life.
6. Aminadab is a foil for Aylmer because he says that he would never change her if she was his wife. He shows just how extreme he thinks Aylmer is in this experiment. Another way he is a foil is when he calls Aylmer master. This highlights the fact that Aylmer expects his assistant to be inferior and worship him.
7. The descriptions of the laboratory are relevant because it is where Aylmer does all of his work. He has dedicated his life to achieve physical perfection. His main driving force, Georgiana isn’t even allowed to explore this scary place. What he does in there is very secretive and Georgiana