In the short story, “The Birthmark,” Nathaniel Hawthorne incorporates gender roles in his portrayal of Georgiana, the bride of Aylmer. Georgiana is by all accounts a beautiful woman with one small flaw. She has a very small deep red birthmark in the center of her cheek. Shortly after marrying, Alymer asked about the mark and wanted to know if she ever thought about having it removed. To this she replied, “it has so often been called a charm that I was simple enough to imagine it might be so” (Hawthorne, 1846, para. 4). To her dismay, Alymer informed her that he felt the mark was a sign of “earthly imperfection” (Hawthorne, 1846, para. 5). Over the course of the story, we watch as Georgiana starts to doubt her identity and fears being looked at by her husband. She wants to be loved and admired by Alymer and eventually gives in to his demands that the mark must be removed. Universally, throughout generations, the female gender often changes who they are to become what the male gender wants wants them to be. Georginia is a perfect example of this in that instead of holding strong to her identity at the beginning of her marriage, she submits herself to a series of powerful experiments to try to become what Alymer wants her to be, his version of perfect beauty.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, “The Birthmark,” the gender roles of women in society are clear when Georgiana allows herself to be changed physically so that her husband will view her as perfect. I married relatively young at the age of 23 and this September will be married for 23 years. Looking back over the course of my marriage, I see areas where the gender roles between men and women are clear. Throughout my marriage, I have wanted to change my haircolor only to be told by my husband that he thinks I am pretty with blonde hair and does not want it changed. For this reason I have my hair highlighted every couple of months to keep it the right color of blonde. After six years of marriage I began to have trouble wearing my contact lenses and my eye doctor