The Birthmark

Laura Edwards
Professor Ginfrida
ENC 1102
24 January 2013
The Birthmark
The birthmark represents various things throughout the story. It symbolizes imperfection and mortality. Georgiana is human and mortal because of the imperfection on her left cheek. The birthmark can also symbolize death no one is perfect, and no one escape death. It is a normal part of life. To strive for perfections is to deny one’s own mortality, to deny what make us human, and to achieve such perfection is essentially impossible. The birthmark also represents man’s physical sense and his earthly life and his spiritual life. Hawthorne stated it was the fatal flaw of humanity which nature, in one shape or another, stamps ineffaceably on all her productions, either to imply that they are temporary and infinite, or that their perfection must be wrought by toil and pain (345). In Aylmer mind the birthmark becomes the symbol of human imperfection
The birthmark had been so often called a charm that Georgiana was very happy with.
Many men’s would have risked life for the privilege his of pressing his lips to the mysterious hand. Aylmer however, had a different view. He believes Georgiana came so nearly perfect from the hand of nature that the slightest possible defect shock him as being a mark of earthly imperfection. However, Aylmer believes that the birthmark would look better upon another face but never on Georgiana face. No dearest Georgiana, you came so nearly perfect from the hand of nature that this slightest possible defect, which we hesitate whether to term a defect or a beauty, shocks me as being the visible mark of earthly imperfection (344).
The hand shape mark on Georgiana’s cheek is the one blemish on an otherwise perfect being, a blemish that marks her as a mortal and people felt it was the hand of God touching Georgiana. It shape bore not a little similarity to the human hand, through of the smallest pygmy size. Georgiana’s lovers were wont to say that some fairy at her...