In "The Birth-Mark" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, what is Aminadab’s function and what does he represent? Why does he laugh twice at the end of the story?

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In "The Birth-Mark," Aminadab is Aylmer's laboratory assistant. He is a begrimed, earthy fellow with shaggy hair who does Aylmer's bidding, beginning with burning a pastil to help revive Georgiana after she faints. After he does so, he mutters under his breath that if Georgiana were his wife, he would "never part with that birthmark." Aminadab is strong and excellent at carrying out the tasks involved with Aylmer's laboratory experiments, though he is said to lack comprehension of the science involved. The narrator observes of Aminadab that

he seemed to represent man's physical nature; while Aylmer's slender figure, and pale, intellectual face, were no less apt a type of the spiritual element.

Hawthorne borrowed the name Aminadab from The Bible; he was an ancestor of David who is briefly mentioned in Genesis and Mark's gospel, and Michelangelo added his likeness to the Sistine Chapel.

Georgiana overhears Aylmer giving Aminadab instructions and Aminadab replying in "harsh, uncouth, misshapen tones" as he works to concoct the potion that will ostensibly remove her birthmark. Clearly, Aylmer believes himself godlike and certainly superior to Aminadab, for he calls him "thou human machine" and "thou man of clay" as if he lacks the animation that only Aylmer can bestow. When Hawthorne wrote "The Birth-Mark" there was growing interest in the accomplishments of scientists and fascination with how far science could be exploited. At the same time, religious faith was taking more of a backseat. Alymer represents a highly intellectual and self-important man who believes himself privy to knowledge beyond the understanding of most people and, in his arrogance, loses his wife in his quest to perfect her. Aminadab, for all his ignorance, seems to understand that perfection is not within the realm of human beings. His eerie chuckles at the end of Aylmer's ill-fated experiment suggest that he is meant to represent a spiritual man who understands that man's place in life is not to place himself alongside God.

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