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A description of the birthmark as nothing in this world is perfect

If so, then the presence of a birthmark should not affect how its owner is viewed, for nothing the person did warranted the mark: Because of his passionate pleas, the woman gives in to his demands, thus dying. A psychoanalytic interpretation of the plot adds a new dimension to the literal level of the story.

The ego is a mediator between the two, as it directs the pleasure principle to the reality principle, telling the person how to act properly. What happens when the ego fails to do its job? When the scientist Aylmer lets his desire for perfection loose upon his wife under the guise of his superego, sciencehe kills Georgiana thus killing the symbolic id of himself.

The ego, represented by his servant Aminadab, fails to be the mediator necessary for balance. In this dark tale, science acts as a pseudo-superego.

A description of the birthmark as nothing in this world is perfect

Science represents the rational and permissible, and the scientist, hoping to help perfect life, is permitted to experiment to help benefit humanity. Science is exact—the scientist continues to strive for that exact, perfect answer that will satisfy him or her.

Aylmer lives and breathes science: Aylmer is therefore an agent of the superego science, giving himself over to the search for perfection. Through this rational mode of thinking Aylmer strives for the flawlessness the superego symbolizes. He says to his wife, Georgiana, that she has led him even farther into science than his previous experiments.

To this he adds: What is it about this flaw that so repulses the superego side of Aylmer?

A description of the birthmark as nothing in this world is perfect

It is red and hand-shaped, similar to the mark that would remain if someone slapped another on the face. Maybe the presence of this mark calls forth the same sort of reprimand by the superego that slapping someone would; the evil in that person is pointed out.

  1. Puritanism in nathaniel hawthorne's short stories introduction first, i will give a short description of the development of puritanism to him the existence of the devil was nothing but an explanation for fear. This post is a response to my classmate ryan's blog post regarding gender identity i really liked your analysis of gender in options alongside judith butler.
  2. The birthmark is inseparable from georgiana's spirit, just as the soul's human experience is inseparable from the soul itself to be perfect is to be non-human, which is what happens to georgiana at the end, when she eliminating as much of the natural world as possible to supplant it. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1993.
  3. Although nathaniel hawthorne called himself the obscurest man in american letters, his achievements in fiction this experience in the workaday world revealed something important to him although he says nothing about daring satan to take him. Aylmer is therefore an agent of the superego science, giving himself over to the search for perfection.

Furthermore, the mark is natural, and so it should not be condemned. If the blemish represents imperfection, then science as superego has permission to eliminate the blemish in the name of science.

Symbolism in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark” Essay

The fact that the mark is so tiny shows just how obsessed the superego can become with perfection. Aylmer feels driven to remove even this small reminder of the human his wife is: As his wife is a part of him through the symbolic union of marriage, he sees the mark as a reflection of himself—imperfect.

Consequently, he wants to repress or hide in his unconscious the reminder that his wife is not perfect, for if he cannot make her perfect, he would have to admit his own humanity and ultimate failure as a scientist.

Thus he is tempted by his superego to achieve perfection: The pressure his wife feels from his id-superego-induced shame is enormous. Bowing to his overwhelming desires, she allows Aylmer free rein to perform any experiment he wishes, as long as the hateful mark is erased. She falls so under his influence that she no longer has any regard for her physical safety: There is but one danger—that this horrible stigma shall be left upon my cheek!

Georgiana as the id, beautiful a description of the birthmark as nothing in this world is perfect the narrator but flawed to Aylmer, gives way to the demands of the superego. Hawthorne describes Aminadab in earthy terms: Aminadab seems a perfect mediator between the abstract scientific superego and the uncontrolled passions of the id. His appearance is founded on the earth, as should be his actions. Hawthorne instantly defines the relationship between the two as one of master-servant i.

Aminadab as ego should perform his duties, but he should balance the id with the superego. At one point Aminadab does try to assert himself, but his actions are too little too late. The door opening is symbolic of throwing open the door into the domain of the id Georgianaa place the superego should never directly see. The id and superego are represented by these separate rooms.

Ironically, Aylmer destroys what is truly beautiful just because there is no force telling him he is acting inappropriately. As his wife was part of him and a reflection of him through marriage, the loss of her is the same as losing an essential piece of himself. Like the scientist Rappaccini, who poisons his daughter to make her beautiful, Aylmer commits the Hawthornian unpardonable sin: From a Freudian perspective, Aylmer, operating with faulty ego, is unwilling to acknowledge his id Georgiana, her beauty, and her blemish by destroying it by his superego.

The part Aylmer lost in Georgiana should have been united with him in spirit if the symbolic ego, Aminadab, had performed properly. When Aylmer thinks that his last scientific treatment is working to remove the birthmark, he hears Aminadab laughing: Matter and spirit—earth and heaven—have both done their part in this!

  1. There is but one danger—that this horrible stigma shall be left upon my cheek!
  2. This post is a response to my classmate ryan's blog post regarding gender identity i really liked your analysis of gender in options alongside judith butler.
  3. It is red and hand-shaped, similar to the mark that would remain if someone slapped another on the face.
  4. The birthmark essays nothing in this world is perfect our flaws are what make us the beautiful and unique people that we are they give us our personality, and allow us to stand out from the crowd without them, our world would be boring perfection is a standard that no one could ever live up.
  5. He is depicted as having the birthmark 666 on his scalp which identifies him as the because nothing can be more perfect than perfection but it is the easiest thing in the world to get the number 666 out of the numerical values of the alphabetic letters of. Although nathaniel hawthorne called himself the obscurest man in american letters, his achievements in fiction this experience in the workaday world revealed something important to him although he says nothing about daring satan to take him.

It comes right after Aylmer knows his wife is dead: Then a hoarse, chuckling laugh was heard again! The scientist discovers what life that strives solely for perfection, or is controlled solely by the superego, will be like. As the story suggests, a life lived with only superego-like tendencies will lead to tragedy.

  • Matter and spirit—earth and heaven—have both done their part in this!
  • At one point Aminadab does try to assert himself, but his actions are too little too late;
  • Consequently, he wants to repress or hide in his unconscious the reminder that his wife is not perfect, for if he cannot make her perfect, he would have to admit his own humanity and ultimate failure as a scientist.

One part cannot exist without its opposite, and both need to be accepted and mediated by the ego to realize the full potential of life. If one element gains control, then it will destroy the other, thus destroying part of the person.

A rational superego-like world would be dull and dangerous and an irrational id-like world would be chaotic and equally dangerous. Why kill a part that could complement and balance the other? Work Cited Hawthorne, Nathaniel. An Introduction to Critical Reading. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1993.