What Does The Birthmark Mean To Aylmer And Georgiana (Rhetorical Essay)


An individual’s perspective is very significant as it can be extremely influential towards another individual. When an individual expresses their viewpoint towards another person their viewpoint is able to shock the other person to the point where they reveal their emotions or spark a new perspective. This new perspective is able to have enough influence and power over an individual to the extent where it creates new challenges for them. Overcoming these challenges can alter people's lives whether it’s for their own good or bad. Once these challenges are solved they often present themselves a lesson that discloses an idea about the human condition. 

In the story The Birthmark one of our main characters Alymer, presents his wife Georgina with his perspective about her birthmark. Alymer’s perspective is very significant as it creates challenges for both of the characters to overcome. When Georgina is confronted about the birthmark she feels as if she isn’t worthy for Alymer, as he isn’t content with her appearance. Georgina believes she has to have Alymer remove the mark as she’s convinced it’s the only way he can truly accept her. Alymer strives towards removing the mark as he believes the mark is sinful, and he expects him and his wife to be at ease in their relationship after it has been removed. 

When Alymer asks Georgina about her birthmark he creates an insecurity within her. This insecurity was new to her as her partners in the past saw her mark as supernatural and often regarded it in a positive way. Georgina’s disappointment towards Alymer’s statement is portrayed: “Shocks you my husband cried Georgina, deeply hurt at first reddening with momentary anger, but then bursting into tears. “Then why did you take me from my mother’s side? You cannot love what shocks you!” (Hawthorne 5) Alymer reveals his perspective in a more negative light regarding her birthmark. You can tell no one has ever criticised her this negatively about her birthmark before seeing how intense and emotional her reaction is. 

Her reaction is so strong that she begins questioning why Alymer married her in the first place, since he isn’t able to look past her appearance and accept her for who she is. Georgina is very emotional as she feels as their relationship between each other might not last seeing how Alymer is dissatisfied towards her appearance.

Alymer becomes extremely obsessed with the idea of removing the birthmark to the point where unexpectedly constructs a plan to remove the mark. “The next day Alymer apprised his wife of a plan that he had formed whereby he might have an opportunity for the intense thought and constant watchfulness which the proposed operation would require: while Georgina, likewise would enjoy the perfect response essential to its success. They were to seclude themselves in the extensive apartments occupied by Alymer as a laboratory.” (Hawthorne 9) Alymer’s perspective towards removing his wife’s birthmark is becoming extremely radical and detrimental to their relationship. Alymer knows that the operation is very risky and could be fatal to his wife. Regardless of knowing this Alymer is still excessively eager to perform his operation. At this point in the story Alymer isn’t going to be content with Georgina until he removes the birthmark entirely. His obsession changes their lives completely as both of them are frustrated in their relationship and have incompatible views and solutions about the birthmark. Alymer’s decision isn’t morally right as he is pressuring Georgina into something that she clearly doesn’t want to do. Georgina expresses little to no opposition towards his views as she feels that this could only enhance the detriment to their relationship and she feels that everything will be better after Alymer gets what he wants.


 

Alymer believes that he has achieved his idea of perfection but he brings unintended repercussions upon himself and his wife. “‘My poor Aylmer’ she repeated with a more than human tenderness, ‘You have aimed loftily: You have done nobly.’ ‘Do not repent that with so high and pure a feeling, you have rejected the best the earth could offer.’ ‘Alymer dearest Alymer, I am dying'” (Hawthorne 19) Right after his wife dies Alymer recognizes that perfection can’t be achieved and when one goes out of their way to do so they can be met with pernicious consequences. Georgina lashes out at Alymer due to the fact that he succeeded in making her feel very troubled and anxious. She’s extremely mad at him due to the fact that he never once took the time to consider whether his plan was something that she was okay with. Georgina tells Alymer that his remorse isn’t sincere and that he shouldn’t try to act apologetic since he is the source of the couple’s downfall. Regardless of her anger Georgina still feels sympathetic towards Alymer as she sees that all of the pain that he brought upon him and his wife was unintentional since he didn’t know any better, and striving for perfection was a part of his personality as an alchemist. 

We see how Alymer’s perspective is very influential in The Birthmark as it sparks emotions and feelings that create challenges for both of the characters to overcome. Alymer’s perspective of his wife’s birthmark evolves into one that is very radical; he finds himself at the point where he is making every effort he can to remove it, neglecting his wife’s feelings. After Alymer successfully removes the birthmark he believes he has achieved his idea of perfection and believes that him and his wife will be content. But everything soon falls apart and his wife passes away. After his wife dies Alymer’s life changes forever, he realizes that it is impossible to achieve perfection and regrets going to the extent that he did to do so Alymer’s perspective demonstrates the human condition of people striving for perfection. Alymer shows us that striving for perfection can cause us a great number of problems and the story serves as an example as to why one shouldn’t try to seek perfection.

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