The Birth-Mark Themes & Motifs

This Study Guide consists of approximately 20 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Birth-Mark.
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Science and Nature

The story prominently explores the relationship between science and nature, specifically addressing how people tend to view science as a potential means of exerting influence over nature. Towards the beginning of the story, the narration states, “We know not whether Aylmer possessed this degree of faith in man’s ultimate control over Nature” (177). However, as the story continues, Aylmer’s actions consistently demonstrate his growing belief in such an idea. In his attempt to defy nature, he endeavors to remove Georgiana’s birthmark. He displays consistent confidence in the idea that he will be able to overcome the effects of nature simply through his own determination and scientific knowledge. However, Georgiana dies because of Aylmer’s attempts, and he must ultimately accept the idea that science cannot defy principles of nature, as nature necessarily governs science and humanity.

Aylmer’s opposition to nature also...

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This section contains 1,261 words
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Buy The Birth-Mark Study Guide
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