The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne
... Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Formal Reflective Essay on ‘The Birthmark’ by Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1843
“Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone?” (Joni Mitchell, 1970). When I read this story, the words of that song ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ kept running through my mind. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Aylmer, in the short story, ‘The Birthmark’ (1843), was a man who made the meaning of those words come alive. He had a great intellect, much scientific knowledge, and may have believed in the power of “man’s ultimate control over Nature” (Hawthorne, 1843). His philosophy, science, experimentation, all seemed to link science with sorcery, combining Nature, magic and spirituali...