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Reflection On "The Birth-Mark" By Nathaniel Hawthorne

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I find this book to have a moral lesson. Human beings seem to have an obsession in making things perfect even those that are beyond their powers. Alymer had searched for a beautiful girl to marry; he finds Georgina but she has a birthmark that Alymer doesn’t like. He goes ahead to marry her with the birthmark but it becomes a bother that he would dream removing it. Alymer, Georgina’s husband is not contented with his wife’s beauty; his major concern goes to her birthmark which is her only imperfection. Alymer thinks that if the birthmark would be removed his wife would have perfect beauty. It is unfortunate how he does not concentrate with her beauty but concentrate on the only thing that is not right with her. The author of this book brings out a theme that is real even in our normal life. People will always focus on the little imperfect things and tend to forget on many perfect things that a person has.

Initially Georgina thought she was all beautiful until she met her husband. The husband kept on pointing the birthmark which is her imperfection until he looks depressed. Georgina believes her husband and start thinking that she has a flaw that they need to do away with at whatever cost. She goes ahead to drink some potion without investigating its side effects which later costs her life. This happens to human beings as well. We are born thinking that we are the best but in the course of life people point out some flaws about us which we end up believing. Most of the times when people mention our flaws, we believe them and get influenced regardless of the circumstances. In this world where perfection is demanded, it doesn’t matter how confident a person is physically or in personalities it is the nature of people to conform for survival. Perfection is not achievable yet people keep on demanding it which eventually affects self-esteem and self-confidence we have.

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This becomes worse when we get criticism from the people we love as they make us change our mindsets. Even if we thought something was okay and someone we love says otherwise we tend to believe them. Whether simple or complex, flaws are no longer seen as few steps to perfection rather as a monster that should be eliminated as fast as possible. It is more complicated when others are different from us as they get shunned. People mock them as they want them to change so that they can fit it; they cannot be accommodated as they are. We push them away and do not give them a chance to be just ‘them’. The pressure we give people by showing them how imperfect they are making them make decisions in trying to become perfect which may end up hurting them more. Beauty and ugliness are in the eyes of the beholder. The funny thing is that the ones pointing out other people’s imperfections are not perfect both externally and internally. It would be better if we would accommodate everyone with their imperfections and differences as the not doing this would not be offering any help.

In conclusion, flaws can be faulty not in terms of looks but in self-confidence and self-esteem. People can never achieve perfection which means that pressuring them to be perfect just destroys them. It would also be recommendable that we learn to embrace things that we cannot change. If someone has a physical imperfection he/she should accept it however if it is something like personality he/she can try to improve on it. Humans should embrace their flaws as well as their beauty.


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