Young Goodman Brown and Other Hawthorne Short Stories

the birthmark by nathaniel hawthorne

identify aminadab in the birthmark

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Aylmer's assistant Aminadab is contrasted sharply with his master. While Aylmer is slender, pale and "spiritual", Aminadab is earthly, brutish and "physical". Though he is physically equipped to assist Aylmer, he cannot understand the experiments. At the end of the tale, Aminadab laughs once in delight at the success of the experiment, and then once again when Georgiana dies. The narrator explains: "Thus ever does the gross fatality of earth exult in its invariable triumph over the immortal essence". Nature cannot be thwarted by man. Aminadab's name is also considered a variant of Amminadab, a high priest and a Levite in the Bible. If Hawthrone indeed meant to link the two characters, the story’s crude assistant could be viewed as representative of a religion that, though in its decline, retains greater respect for human life than does “amoral science.”