Other than being a vain jerk who wants a “perfect” wife, why is Aylmer trying to rid Georgiana of the birthmark in "The Birthmark"?

In "The Birthmark," Aylmer is trying to rid Georgiana of her birthmark because he equates it as a symbol of all the evil and suffering that makes the world imperfect. By removing the birthmark, Aylmer would triumph over the negative aspects of the world and prove that science can fix suffering.

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Aylmer views Georgiana's birthmark as more than a physical defect, but as a symbol of all that is painful about life: sin, decay, and death. Hawthorne does, in typical Hawthorne fashion, explain the significance of the birthmark to the reader in the following passage:

It was the fatal flaw of...

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Aylmer views Georgiana's birthmark as more than a physical defect, but as a symbol of all that is painful about life: sin, decay, and death. Hawthorne does, in typical Hawthorne fashion, explain the significance of the birthmark to the reader in the following passage:

It was the fatal flaw of humanity which Nature, in one shape or another, stamps ineffaceably on all her productions, either to imply that they are temporary and finite, or that their perfection must be wrought by toil and pain. The crimson hand expressed the ineludible gripe in which mortality clutches the highest and purest of earthly mould, degrading them into kindred with the lowest, and even with the very brutes, like whom their visible frames return to dust. In this manner, selecting it as the symbol of his wife's liability to sin, sorrow, decay, and death, Aylmer's sombre imagination was not long in rendering the birthmark a frightful object, causing him more trouble and horror than ever Georgiana's beauty, whether of soul or sense, had given him delight.

In trying to rid his wife of the birthmark, he is in effect trying to make life perfect. He wants his wife to be sinless as well as spotless. He wants to cheat Death and Age out of their power over the living. He is, in a sense, attempting to play God as many scientists have tried in countless science-fiction novels and movies.

Aylmer tells Georgiana upfront what removing her birthmark would mean to him. He claims to remove her mark would be a greater achievement than Pygmalion, a mythological figure who created the perfect woman out of clay, and that he is grateful the mark exists because it will be a great triumph for him to rid her of it. Removing the mark would allow Aylmer to make Georgiana, who is "nature's... fairest work," even more perfect. Science has become the solution to sufferingat least Aylmer believes as such.

By the end, of course, Aylmer only succeeds in destroying what he loves. He is able to remove the birthmark, but in the process he kills his wife. No matter how hard he strives, he cannot make life perfect.

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