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How does Nathaniel Hawthorne display a negative attitude toward science in "The BirthMark"?

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In the story "The Birthmark," Nathaniel Hawthorne displays his negative attitude towards science by having Georgiana's birthmark symbolize the emotional perfection that complements her physical beauty. When her husband Aylmer tries to remove it through scientific techniques, he kills her. This story is an example of the viewpoint of the literary movement of romanticism, which places emphasis on the importance of emotions and a connection with nature rather than scientific advances.

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In the short story "The Birthmark" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, a scientist named Aylmer meets and marries a lovely woman named Georgiana. Her beauty is unimpaired except for a red birthmark of a small hand upon her left cheek. After their wedding, the birthmark begins to intensely disturb Aylmer, and the couple agrees that he should work on attempting to remove it. He tries various methods that do not work. In the end, he develops a liquid that removes the birthmark after Georgiana drinks it, but when the birthmark disappears, she dies.

To analyze Hawthorne's attitude towards science in this story, it is important to understand that he was part of the Romantic era in literature, which reached its peak in the first half of the nineteenth century. This literary movement was a reaction to the Age of Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, and the rationalization of nature due to advances in science. Romanticism emphasized the importance of emotions, originality, and a close connection with nature as profound expressions of human experience.

In "The Birthmark," we see this clash between science and romanticism throughout the story. It begins in the second paragraph, where Hawthorne describes Aylmer's love for Georgiana as "the love of science" competing with "the love of a woman." It is obvious that the birthmark is an integral part of Georgiana as an emotional individual. Hawthorne explains that "the birthmark would come and go with the emotions in her heart." Additionally, the scientist dreams that he is attempting to remove the birthmark with an operation, but

the deeper his knife went, the deeper the small hand sank until it had caught hold of Georgiana's heart.

By the end, we see that Aylmer is so obsessed with removing the birthmark from his wife's cheek that he kills her. The closing line gives us Hawthorne's attitude towards Aylmer's overemphasis on trying to correct his wife's supposed defect through science.

In trying to improve his lovely wife, he had failed to realize that she had been perfect all along.

In other words, science had been trying to correct what was not really a mistake. The birthmark was a part of her emotional perfection.

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