Young Goodman Brown, The Maypole of Merrymount, and The Birth-Mark

I started my Hawthorne reading job with The Birth-Mark. I picked this story due to the fact I am familiar with the Maypole of Merrymount and Young Goodman Brown, and I wanted to try anything diverse. I was pleasantly surprised with The Birth-Mark, in my thoughts it far surpasses the latter two stories. I feel one of the most admirable traits of Hawthorne is his capacity to create as even though actions are taking location somewhere in the present. Aylmer could quite nicely reside today, someplace in the globe with his laboratory in the backyard. Guys like Young Goodman Brown are everywhere in today’s society, and, still, there are these who try and destroy that which they do not recognize or refuse to fully grasp like the Puritans in The Maypole of Merrymount. The Birth-Mark grapples with the scientific progress of the time. I think the theme of humans trying to control nature with unfavorable benefits is prevalent in lots of works of the time, most notably Frankenstein. The fixation that Aylmer has on Georgiana’s birthmark is unnatural. Hawthorne correlates this quest for perfection with Aylmer’s intentions of formulating an elixir of life and mastering the art of alchemy. Maybe Hawthorne is drawing a parallel right here involving the scientists of his day trying to handle nature and by the failure of scientists to do this in the previous. Aylmer’s attempt to manage nature leads to the death of his wife which is unnecessary, she is very content with the minor facial blemish till he makes a big deal about it. Perhaps this also is a parallel amongst the mass majority becoming content with the state of the world and a specific few who would like to make it improved, and, in turn, destroy it. I can have an understanding of Hawthorne’s thought. I reside in continual fear of nuclear war and the technology that has created it out there. But, I am grateful for the health-related advances we have nowadays. It is a double-edge sword. (I am not implying that Aylmer is an evil man, I do not assume he is aware of the chaos he can arouse. In fact, he is merely concerned with progress and saving humans from their own mortality and “humanness”.)

There is one imparticular line from the story that I sound most engaging:

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