What is the theme of "The Birthmark"? Alienation, initiation, problem of guilt or pride?
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You could explore the theme of human imperfection or limits as it pertains to Alymer's alchemical over-reaching. Also, you might want to refer to Pygmalion myth and also Frankenstein as they explore a similar theme. A close reading will reveal the conflict between 'nature' and 'spiritual world'-a world travelled by many Romantic authors-British and American. Hope that helps!
A major theme is the presumption of the scientist that he can make human nature/ human form 'better.' Why does Alymer think he can improve on nature? What makes him find his wife's birthmark ugly? YES-- this kind of attitude leads to alienation...and when she dies--it will also lead to guilt! The pride that the intellectual or scientist takes in his (or her) work may lead to a downfall.
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