الكلية الكلية

آخر الأخبار

جاري التحميل ...

The birthmark-1

The birthmark

Webster's lexicon characterizes incongruity as a dialect gadget in which the genuine goal is hidden or repudiated by the litreral significance of words or a circumstance. There are three kinds of incongruity verbal incongruity, emotional incongruity and situational irony.Hawthorne was fruitful in utilizing this scholarly gadget in upgrading the content.The verbal irony in the story is when georgiana said that the birthmark is "magical".It is somewhat ironic because if it is magical, it has a supernatural power.It is something that is admired and one does not want to lose it. However,in the story they wanted to get rid of it.Georgiana once said "Danger? There is but one danger-that this horrible stigma

 shall both go mad!"It is just ironic because if she considers it as magical she will not agree to remove it.
Another verbal irony is when aylmer considered his work as of the "sorcerer".Georgiana was reading his books of accomplishments when Aylmer said to her "It is dangerous to read in a sorcerer's books".Although he was a man of science, he ironically said that it is of the sorcerer is a person who uses supernatural powers over others through the assistance of spirits. Definitely, it has no scientific analysis unlike a scientis who always clings on scientific explanation.
The situational irony revolves around the elixir. Upon the experimentation of the elixir, Georgiana mentions that "It is so beautiful to the eye that I could imagine it come to believe that the elixir will lead them to the perfection of life or either something that can extend life of Georgiana. She died after talking it. Different thing happened in contrast to what they were expecting. Instead of making Georgiana attain immortality; it has brought her to death.
Lastly, it seemed that Aylmer was not aware of the consequence of his action of playing with God. He was so obsessed with the success he had in removing the birthmark that he did not notice that the result of his action is the blindness of Aylmer to the true meaning of life. He was blinded of his pride that he made Georgiana's life miserable. Because of his desire to remove the imperfection from his wife or he just wanted to prove what he was capable of, he did not notice that he was already ruining the life of his wife.Aylmer struggled to make his wife happy by making her perfect. Unfortunately, it did not lead to happiness but only guilt and regrets of the consequences of one's action.
1.III. Paradox
Paradox is also one of the literary devices present in "The birthmark" It is a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth as defined by Dictionary.com.
What is paradox in the story is when Aylmer said to his wife regarding the elixir that"...the elixir of immortality. It is the most precious poison that ever was concocted in this world.'Georgiana also once said '...but it will be on the same principle that would induce me to take a dose of poison if offered by your hand.'
The elixir is not really poisonous. Aylmer won't let Georgiana take it if it is because he loves his wife. In fact, Aylmer made it to remove the birthmark in Georgiana's cheek which he considered an imperfection of the Nature's work. He made it to make his wife perfect. Perhaps, Aylmer and Georgiana did not really mean to say it is poisonous. They just wanted to say something absurd. However,
Life after taking it. The elixir had caused her death.
Aylmer is scholarly run wild, a man whose brain has overwhelmed his feeling of conventionality. A staggeringly gifted researcher, he has made numerous leaving revelations about the physical world. His investigation into the profound world, however,tend to be more abnormal aspirations -, for example, transforming base metal into gold, making an elixir that would give its consumer endless life, or making people from nothing - he trusts that he is in any event fit for performing such wonders. What's more, his activities trusts his claim to regard life:he has created a toxin equipped for executing a man such an innovation demonstrates, to the point that Aylmer aches to control nature itself. Aylmer's diaries uncover that he considers his most noteworthy accomplishments useless in contrast with his desire, which is nothing not exactly to practice a divine control over life.

Aylmer is a character, of course, but he also functions as a symbol of intellect and science. Unlike modern writers, Hawthorne is less interested in plumbing the psychological depths of his characters than he is in using them to prove a point. He also provides almost none of the details about Aylmer that we expect. We never learn his age, birthplace, childhood, or habits of speech. But it is not Hawthorne's aim to convine us that Aylmer is a real person. Indeed, he goes out of his way to make Aylmer a fantastical, nonerealistic being. By making Aylmer a symbol for the mind and then showing how dangerous it is when the mind operates independent of morality, Hwthorne warns us that unchecked ambition without regard for morality will result only in disaster and death.
A beautiful and passionate woman, Georgiana is undone by her allegiance to her husband. The ideal wife--- at least according to the ideals of a bygone era--- Georgiana considers Aylmer to be her master. Although every other man she has encountered has swooned over her beauty and many would risk death for the privilege of touching her birthmark, Georgiana cares only about Aylmer's opinion becomes disgusted with herself. Because she believes she sould do anything to make Aylmer happy, she willingly risks death. Living in rooms decorated like elegant boudoirs; breathing in mysterious, character-altering fumes; and looking at fake vistas,Georgiana acts as if she is a robot under the control of her creator. If Aylmer is the villain of the story, Georgiana is the heroine. She acts as society says she should, trusting her husband absolutely, and her only reward for her obedience and deference is death. Perhaps Hawthorne is suggesting that although devotion is a laudable trait, women should not be expected to obey their husband at all costs.
Even though Hawthorne's characters can often be two-dimensional people, Georgiana is far more complex and believeable a character than is Aylmer. Even though she submits to her husband's demends, she is not simply the familial and stereotypical downtrodden wife. A highly intelligent woman, she passes the time by reading the works of philosophy she finds in her husband's scientific library.
She examines Aylmer's accounts of his experiments and understands everything make someone else happy.When the occasion calls for it, she can also be feisty.
She refuses to aplogize for entering Aylmer's laboratory, for example, and chides him for keeping her in the dark about the danger of the experiment. And she does not die a silent martyr's death. Before passing away, she demonstrates a final burst of self-confidence by urging Aylmer not to feel bad about rejecting " The best the earth could offer".
Aminadab- Aylmer's assistant. A hulking, strong,grubbly man, Aminadab is an able helper but simultaneously disgusted by Aylmer's desire to erase Georgiana's birthmark. Because Aminadab represents the physical side of exitence, his disgust is a strong indictment of Aylmer. Ironically, Aminadab feels more compassion for Georgiana than her own husband does.
Major themes
the foolishness of striving for perfection
Aylmer's desire to make his wife perfect is doomed to failure because perfection,Hawthorne suggests, is the exclusive province of heaven and can't be found on earth.In fact, the very success of Aylmer's perfection-inducing potion mayy doom
Georgiana to death.Because  she becomes an ideal being, completely unmarred, she is no longer able to exist in this world. The desire for perfeection not only kills Georgiana, it also ruins her husband because his desireto create the ideal woman becomes a fixation that prevents him from seeing the good in his wife. Eventually, her tiny imperfection is all he can see. It grows in his mind untill the very sight of the beautiful Georgiana repulses him, a ludicrous turn of events. The wisest men in the story are those who understand that perfection is not goal orth pursuing.
These men, Georgiana's admirers,  never appear in the story, but Hawthorne stresses that their appreciation of her is far more sensible than Aylmer's fixation on her single imperfection.For these men, Georgiana's slight flaw only enhances her loveliness.In the same way that life seems more precious because we know we'll die, Georgiana's beuty seems more amazing because it isn't seamless.
Science versus Nature
In a story full of widly successful, almost magical, scientific experiments, it is untouched nature itself that is shown to be more powerful than any manmade creation. Aylmer has the ability to make lovely slights and amazing aromas  from nothing, but he doesn't have the ability to control his wife's spirit or prolong her life. On the other hand, Georgiana does have some measure of power over her husband's spirit, a power that comes not from science but nature. for examble, when Aylmer's spirits flag, he asks Georgiana to sing to him, and the beauty of her voice restores his good mood. Unlike her husband's potions, her voice is entirely natural but has a much greater effect. In addition, Georgiana's birthmark also demonstrates the power of nature because it capiticates and intoxicates almost everyone who sees it. In the end, Aylmer's attempt to control nature with science ends only in death and unhappiness.
The impossibility of perfection
Hawthorne's protagonist, Aylmer, is motivated by a pursuit towards perfection.
The narrator explain that if his wife, Georgiana, were flawed in any other way than the birthmark, then Aylmer would not be so fixated. Instead, the birthmark is the only mark that stands in the way to true beauty. As Aylmer strives to reach the ultimate perfection, Hawthorne obviously suggests the impssibility of the task that should be left to gods, not humans. Aylmer  does reach aesthetic perfection and the birth \mark disappears; yet he only achieves this through Georgiana's death .
This suggests that perfection that is taken from nature and manipulated by science comes with an unthinkable cost. Furthermore, the perfection that Aylmer sought was wholly aesthetic. Through focusing on this alone, Hawthorne perhaps suggests that Aylmer's science was so fixed on appearance that it bypassed Georgiana's possibly perfect interior. This theme is reiterated through the minimal word count attributed to Georgiana's character, whereas the birthmark is referred to so often it almost becomes a character of it's own, its dominant presence suggesting it will never be eradicated and Georgiana cannot ever exist as a living embodiment of perfection.
Power as dangerous
Many of Hawthorne's science fiction novellas centre on power, and the danger of one man wielding too much of it. The danger in 'The Birthmark' is Aylmer's intelligence; his knowledge of science in a science fiction automatically places him as the fugure of authority, over the female and over the animal-like assnistant. This is enhanced by the closed environment of his laboratory, in a story that has minimal contact with the outside world. Therefore, there is no figure with a higher authority to tell Aylmer to stop.This is also enhanced by the pursuit of science as a relatively new one, meaning that there are thus far no scientific laws, or methods to an experiment. This means that Aylmer's belief in his scientific discoveries is potentially limitless, and the lenghs he will go to make him extremely powerful.
Within Hawthorne's story, Aylmer's confidence in his ability extends to believing he can create an elixir that will extend a person's life. A person who has control over life and death possesses a power that is infinitely dangerous. He is confident he can prevent Georgiana's death to the point where he shows no caution in the experiment, even as she dies. Power is therefore dangerous in Hawthorne's ficthin as it means the scientist forgets he and his subjects are mortal, and the limitations this places on his science.
-An ambiguous morality
A great theme throughout Hawthorne's works is moral ambiguity.There is always a standard code of practise that is seen as 'right' and a character's action that are 'wronge',such as Hester Prynne in The scarlet Lettre. However, Hawthorne suggests there is more to simple accusation of what is right, and waht is wrong.
Aylmer's action are morally wrong, but his motice is agruably innocent. He is a dutiful husband, as he wants his wife to be as physically perfect as she can be.
Therefore, despite committing murder, it can be argued that Aylmer's motives were genuinely focused on Georgiana's wellbeing. A further point of ambiguity in Aylmer's morality is his lack of moral examble. He is a scientist so engulfed in a world where an experiment can only succeed or fail, that he has almost lost complete touch with a morality based on emotion and consequence. Aylmer sees only that the birthmark is gone, and not what he is doing to the subject that bears it, is wrong. Therefore, is Aylmer completely accountable for his actions In modern terms, would Georgiana's death be described as murder or manslaughter?
Hawthorne certainly suggests that Aylmer is too  fixated on the birthmark to firstly realize the consequences, but that he is still wholly guilty.
As a man of science, Aylmer is interested in how Nature created the world, and how he can emulate the process himself to also create or destroy life. He questions why Nature made Georgiana that Aylmer, in his studies as a scientist, examined 'the secret of the creative force', yet did not know if he fully possessed this power.
However, the importance of  this theme is in Aylmer's ambition to discover Nature's method of cration so he can also become a creator of life.'This presents the scientist, and man, as against the very forces that created them. Hawthorne's short story also presents the consequences of attempting ro emulate creation.
Aylmer creates a flower that scorches upon touch, suggesting that he can create a specimen that looks like it's natural counterpart, but can never truly exist as it Hawthrone also highlights the temporal nature of human life against Nature.
Nature created Georgiana as a delightful person, and it is only when man attempts to manipulate how she is created that human kind are punished with death.
Flawed love
Despite the story's genre of science fiction, Hawthrone includes a brief romance to complicate the morality of using Georgiana, his wife, as a subject. Yet, the focus on their marriage completely bypasses their courtship, and features Georgiana only as the dutiful wife. This union now means that Georgiana not only has an emotional, but a legal obligation to accept that she is Aylmer's property. It also prompts the debate as to whether Aylmer cannot love Georgiana in particular because of her imperfection, or if he is the most beautiful of women, with inner grace that many others have praised. In Hawthrone portraying Aylmer's wife as the best of her kind, it suggests that Aylmer is incapable of loving, as no man with a heart could resist the angel-like woman. The kind of love that Aylmer can offer is therefore cannot separate his feelings for Georgiana from this. His actions within the story force the reader to condemn Aylmer to life where Georgiana should not have been onvolved at all.
Red and white
The colors red and white recur throughout 'The birthmark' to high light both Georgiana's purity and imperfections. Hawthrone uses lyrical language to descrbe Georgiana's skin. Her birthmark is described as crimson and ruby-colored, while the skin around it is likened to snow and marble.These words reveal that the narrator thinks Georgiana's birthmark and the red and white shades of her face make her more beautiful, not less. The loveliness of the language he uses to describe her puts the narrator in opposition to Aylmer. So too does his describtion of the blending of the two colors. In general, The birthmark is red and Georgiana's skin is white, but these categories sometimes overlap: when she blushes, her skin turns the same color as the birthmark. this overlapping suggests that no clear boundary exits between Georgiana's beaty and one flaw.
The birthmark
The hand-shaped birthmark that adorns Georgiana's cheek is the most important syympol in the story, hence Hawthorne's use of it for the title. Whilst her husband, Aylmer, finds the found it charming. The hand is seen as the mark of a fairy at birth, suggesting Georgiana to be pure, innocent, and perhaps higher than this mortal world. The mark can also be representative of the children that Georgiana will bear, and the small hands she will hold in the future. This accentuates her position as womanly and maternal, broadening the gap between Aylmer, the cold-blooded scientist that does not even consider children. In Aylmer's dream, he fantasises about removing the birth mark, but it seems to have a grasp on Gergiana's heart. This is representative of how strong the hold of this small birthmark is over Aylmer, and now Gergiana; despite both their  attempts to consider it as irrelevant, the land grasps on and does not let them forget. The size and, in reality, minimal impact of the birthmark on the woman's beauty also demonstrates the absurdity of the scientist in seeking the highest level of beauty and perfection. Wanting a human to exites as a perfect canvas is no way to treat achievable, not the world of human imperfection.
The birthmark
Georgiana's birthmark sympolizes morality. According to the narrator, evety living thing is flawed in some way, nature's wat of reminding us that every living thing eventially dies. The hand-shaped mark on Georgiana's cheek is the one  blemish on an otherwise perfect being, a blemish that marks her as mortal.
Aylmer's revulsion for his wife's birthmark suggests the horror he feels at the prospect of death. He is a smart man, but his misinterpretation of the symbol on Georgiana's face leads him astray. He mistakenly comes to believe that if he can roots out this symbol of transience, it will mean that the birthmark represents Georgiana's moral decrepitude and spiritual flaws even though she isn't a woman prone to sin at all. If anything, the symbol of death on her cheek clashes with her natural generosity and sunny spirit.
'The birthmark' is rife with the kind of foreshadowing that may strike modern readers as heavey-handed. Aylmer dreams of cutting off Georgiana;s birthmark and finding that the roots plunge down into her heart, which he decideds to cut out; Georgiana faints the first time she sees the laboratory; the beautiful , fast-blooming flower Aylmer creates withers and turns black as soon as  Georgiana touches it ; a reflection of Georgiana in metal plate reveals the shape of a hand, si Aylmer throws the plate into acid, destroying it. Over and over, we see that Aylmer's experiments usually go awry and have destructive, unintended consequences.
Georgiana's death, therefore, comes as no surprise to the attentive reader. In fact, some modern readers may feel disappointed that the final scene of the story adheres so closely to what has been foreshadowed and contain so little that is surprising.
If we are not shocked, however,neither is Georgiana, who serves as a stand-in for us, a reader of the events around her. Georgiana overhears Aylmer muttering in his sleep, realizes what he's dreaming about, and presses him to recall the dream the next morning. She interprets it correctly, firmly believing that the birthmark's removal may lead to her death. She analyzes the incidents of the past such as the broken flower and disfigured plate, and reads Aylmer's journals as catagues of his failures. In this light, the lack of surprise at the end of the story emphasizes Georgiana's bravery: like us, she knew exactly what would probably happen, but she submitted to her husband's exberiment to make him happy.
The flower
As Aylmer is explaining to Georgiana the method he will execute to eliminate the birthmark, her confidence wavers as he seems to fail at other experiment. In order to restore her belief, he takes the 'elixir' vitae' and grows a beautiful flower from it. As Georgiana touches it, it turns immediately black as if charred by fire. This suggests the transience of extreme beauty, and the problems that arise with the impatience of progressive science. If Aylmer had done as a gardener would, he would have grown the flower naturally and it would have bloomed for longer than the second that it did. A major theme of Hawthorne's fiction is drawn out here: if nature is used in conjunction, or against scientific pursuit. In 'Rappaccini's Daughter' Rappaccini's poisonous garden enhances nature to something unnatural. In this short story, Aylmer begins with the wholly unnatural and works completely against nature. Additionally, this flower is representative of the delicate balance of Georgiana's wife. If Aylmer had accepted nature as the purest from in existence, he could have disregarded the birthmark and concentrated on his wife's other assets of extreme beauty. Instead, he reaches for a progressive future too soon, and kills her, as he does the flower.
The elixir vitae
The 'elixir vitae' the elixir that can extend someone's life indefinitely, is a scientific substance. Yet, its connotations are religious, it is a substance is reminiscent of a miracle, a deed only possible by diety. In Aylmer making and administering it, he holds a god-like power that elevates him above the common mortal. This measure of extreme power is dangerous, as it places in mortal hands the responsibility of who deserves to live longer, and who does not. within the story , Georgiana questions Aylmer as to how he can keep a substance that is so powerful. He replies that he does not mean to use it; it is instead a demonstration of what his scientific skills are capable of. Yet, it is not the use of the elixir that is threatening, but the possibility. At any point, Aylmer can decide to destroy or heal a person with the liquid. It is at this point that he begins to play God, and the boundaries between God and Man are broken.
Hawthrone's plot line not only guides the reader through the physical happenings of the story, but also in to Aylmer's subconscious. Before he begins the experiment, he has a dream that cement his attitude of repulsion towards the birthmark. He dreams that himself and aminadab, his assistant, attempt to remove the birthmark. Yet, the deeper they cut in Georgiana's skin, the tighter the hand seems to grasp on to her heart. This is obviously ominous in several ways. It suggests to both reader and character that attempting to remove the mark will be fatal, as in the dream it is connected directly to Georgiana's main organ, the heart. It is also omninous of Aylmer's increasing obession, as his conscious thought have now penetrated his subconscious mind. Therefore, whilst Aylmer cannot admit to Georgiana that he had the dream, it its a major symblol that demonstrates he will only obsess further from here on. Yet, it is worth nothing that Aylmer's dream exists as a literary symbol, placed by Hawthorne as a foreshadowing that only the reader and Georgiana will notice. Aylmer dismisses the dream, and the connotaions it has, disregarding it as an omen.
The colour red
Hawthrone uses the color of red to describe the evil, the innocent, and the ambiguous. The innocence of Georgiana's blush is described as ' rosy' and symbolizes the first flushes of  a newly wedded and pure bride. This transitions extremely quickly in to becoming the color of distress, as Georgiana flushes in shock that Aylmer dislikes her birthmark so . It is also the color that Aylmer turns, after white, when he discovers Georgiana in his laboratory and accuses her of mistrusting him. Therefore, red hlods all the usual connotations of anger, malice and evil. Perhaps the most confusing colored symbol is the birthmark itself. It is red, suggesting it ti be blushes. This mark that easily disappeared is simulataneously seemingly, not a permanent and thus harrowing mark. Once again, Hawthrone refuses to commit to the stereotype of either character, or symbol; the connotaions of red throughout are undeniably multifaceted.
Aylmer's laboratory in the late 1700s
Hawthrone begins his narrative by placing Aylmer 'in the latter part of the last century' (1). Because he was writing in the 1840s, we known that he's referring to the late 1700s. (And they say writers can't do math!) In 'In a Nutshell,' we talk about how Hawthrone's own times might have influenced his writing. ' The birthmark' may be a response to, or at least a questioning of, the movement of positivism, or the idea that everything we can learn about the world must be learned through formal, physical,scientific inquiry. It/s interesting,then that Hawthrone sets his narrative back about 50 years or so. What was going on in the 18 th century as far as science is concerned ?
Believe it or not , the scientific world was actually still dominated by Newtonian thinking at this time, even though Newton published his earth-changing works back in the mid-1600s. what Newton did by explaining the fields of physics and mathematics was tell the world that we could figure nature out by using the proper scientific techniques. This so-called Newtonian Revolution was a pre-crusor to the Age of enlightenment, in which God was out and science was in. This is the environment in which Hawthorne sets his story : in a time when man's faith in science-- and the ability of scientists to figure out pretty much everything--was strong.
The irony, of course, is that Aylmer has failed so many times in attempting his more lofty experiments.'[Nature] is yet severely careful to keep her own secrets [..] she permits us, indeed, to mar, but seldom to mend, and like a kealous patentee, on no account to make,'' Hawthorne writers, which is a pretty explicit way of saying that science has its limits (23). man, Hawthrone implies, can't play God.
The physical setting of Aylmer;s laboratory is super-intersting. Hawthrone devotes quite a bit of text to describing the boudoir for Georgiana and the contrasting lab in which Aylmer works. It's so interesting, in fact, that's it's pretty much a symbol in itself, which means we discuss it in detail in 'Symbols, Imagery, Allegory.' We'll meet you there.
Thir person (Omniscient)
The narrator of ' The birthmark' is allowed acces to both  Aylmer and Georgiana's thought. When learn, for example, that Aylmer perceives of the birthmark as 'the symbol of his wife's liability to sin, sorrow,decay, and death,' and also get the details of Georgiana's emotional reaction to her husband's opinion (she dreaded lest a gush of tears should interrupt what she had to say')(8,13). There is however, the odd moment or two where the narrator throws his omniscience out :
We know not whether Aylmer possessed this degree of faith in man's ultimate control over Nature. (1)
This is such an interesting line, because the narrator confesses that he is in fact ignorant of all the facts. It's odd, because for most of narrative he maintains omniscience, with access to both Aylmer and Georgiana's thoughts. It's possible that Hawthrone is making a point about the limitations of human knoledge. For more of this , you'll want to check out ' In a Nustshell'.
The other big thing to talk about when it comes to this narrator is that he sure seems to have all the big moralistic opinion. That is , it wouldn't be unreasonable to think of the narrator as being Hawthrone's own voice, And he certainly doesn't hold back from the moralizing. For examples and more, see our discussion of Tone.
'The birthmark' published in march of 1843 in literary journal  called the pioneer, is one of Hawthrone's more famous short stories. It tells the story of a scientist who is obsessed with the removal of his wife's birhmark, believing it a what it means to be human, the body vs. the soul, how much science can tell us about the world , how much of nature we can change through science, and 
perhaps more importantly, whether we should even try to ' Play God' in this way.

It's likely tha 'the birrthmark' was essentially affected by Hawthrone's times.In the mid-1800s, 

science's star was rising and, most strangely, saturating the field of philosopy. A school of thought called positicism jumped up, which essentially celebrated the logical strategy and said the main way we could learn things was through logical experimentation and watchful perception. Out with grand meta-Physics; in with physical perception. Hawthrone's primary character Aylmer, in one perusing of 'the birthmark',epitomizes this perspective. regardless of whether Hawthrone thoroughly rejects positivism is liable to talk about, however he is surely scrutinizing the legitimacy of such a restricted way to deal with gainig learning about our reality.

عن الكاتب

May Ahmed


إذا أعجبك محتوى مدونتنا نتمنى البقاء على تواصل دائم ، فقط قم بإدخال بريدك الإلكتروني للإشتراك في بريد المدونة السريع ليصلك جديد المدونة أولاً بأول ، كما يمكنك إرسال رساله بالضغط على الزر المجاور ...

إتصل بنا

عن الموقع

مدونة الكلية هي مدونة تعليمية تهدف الي نشر المواد التخصصية الخاصه بكلية الآداب قسم اللغة الأنجليزية

حمل تطبيقنا !

Get it on Google Play

جميع الحقوق محفوظة