Young Goodman Brown and Other Hawthorne Short Stories

the birthmark by nathaniel hawthorne

how is the search for perfection dangerouse in the birthmark?

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Most common analyses of “The Birthmark” regard Georgiana’s mark as an external sign of her human condition. To be human, the story suggests, is to be imperfect. Science, which attempts to control and manipulate nature, aspires to too idealistic a notion for reality. When Aylmer attempts to remove the mark of nature, he is also opposing the original act of creation. Authors have described the tale as one concerning “the striving for perfection beyond the human and the recognition that such striving can be fatal.” (Zanger, 365)