Birthmark - Chenette 1 Michael Chenette Professor Friese...

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Chenette Michael Chenette Professor Friese April 4, 2008 ENG 102 – 014 The Birthmark What is the birthmark? The birthmark is a representation of the idea of flaws, and how they can not be changed or fixed. If these flaws are attempted to be fixed or changed, the consequences could be dire. Many people have argued their own views on the birthmark and how it relates to their particular thoughts on what is flawed. Judith Fetterley believes that the birthmark represents men’s view of women and how they try to change women completely, control them, and want to kill them. Jules Zanger argues how the birthmark is a representation for scientific processes that correlate with the inevitable deduction with changes in a phenomenon. Basically, she says that change is bad. Cindy Weinstein makes the point that the allegory is a connection to the struggling social and market economy in America during the nineteenth century. And Kate Lawson and Lynn Shakinovsky believe that the birthmark might have been a representation of domestic violence, thrown in a romance story. I believe that every critics views is correct in their own respects, but also think that the birthmark is a representation of all flaws and faults in the world, and that an attempt to fix them or change them to some degree is not an option that will produce good results. “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, is the story of a birthmark that resides on the cheek of Aylmer’s, the protagonist’s, wife Georgiana. At first, the birthmark, which is in the shape of a hand, is nothing but a beauty mark. But later, this beauty mark 1
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Chenette increasingly annoys Aylmer to the point that he wants to be rid of it. When he reaches the point where he can not bear to look at it any longer, he attempts to convince his wife to participate in an experiment that will rid them both of the birthmark forever. At first, she refuses, but out of love for Aylmer, she succumbs to his thoughts and believes too that the birthmark is an imperfection and wants to be rid of it. So she agrees to Aylmer’s wishes and participates in an experimental surgery in which she drinks an elixir. Upon drinking the elixir, the birthmark upon her face slowly disappears from her face. But the elixir is too strong and included in the destruction of the birthmark, it destroys her, and she dies. Fetterley views the birthmark on Georgiana’s cheek on the perspective of
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Birthmark - Chenette 1 Michael Chenette Professor Friese...

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