Birthmark Short Story by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Georgiana is one of the characters in the Birthmark short story by Nathaniel Hawthorne. She has a birthmark, which Aylmer believes to be a sign of blemish and should be done away with. However, Georgiana believes that the mark on her cheek is a good thing. The narrator uses this character to signify how nature is filled with imperfections (Nathaniel, n.d, para 2). The mark on Georgiana’s cheek is a way of reminding the readers about their mortality. Aylmer is a brilliant scientist and the narrator uses him to signify perfectionist and how disastrous it can be when human mind can function if it is detached from morality (Nathaniel, n.d, para 2). Finally, Aminadab signifies the physical aspect of existence. Being an assistance of Aylmer, he symbolizes the faithful and reliable servants who are able to disseminate information and come up with the best rational ideas for use by their bosses.

In the birthmark story, both Aylmer and Georgiana serve as protagonists. Aylmer is positioned as the main character since he is the one that the entire story revolves around and actually, his desires compel the tale. Georgiana can also be regarded as a protagonist, only if the birthmark is taken as a catastrophe. However, she still fits very well as the antagonist after the main character offends her by having her birthmark removed and she dies in the process. She is fully controlled by her husband. Aylmer is depicted as the villain whereas Georgiana is a heroine (Nathaniel, n.d, para 14). This is because; she is obedient and submissive to her husband just like the way the society expects from her. However, the only reward she gets from her loyalty is death. It is worth noting that the narrator has figuratively used Georgiana as a messiah. Her death is heroic and helps in airing the voices of the minorities especially the female gender that has less recognition in the society.

Georgiana is in one way or another similar to the Colette’s female protagonist. Just like the woman in Colette’s ‘The Hand’ story, Georgiana is obliged to obey her husband’s wishes despite the danger she places herself into. She eventually dies trying to fulfil her husband’s wish. This story has been written as a metaphor to most of the communities that disregard minority groups especially the female gender (Nathaniel, n.d, para 12). There is need for everyone’s voice to be heard since no one is perfect and coordination of ideas from different individuals irrespective of their race or gender can help to create greater initiatives that are helpful to the entire society.



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