Birthmark vs Hills Like White Elephants: Compare & Contrast
The literary world has expanded to limits in times of deception, love, morality, and other basic issues. Literature can be tracked down to the 17th century when famous authors like William Shakespeare came into the arena of literature. The Birthmark is a story by Nathaniel Hawthorne written in the 18th century which tells the reader about the philosophical mind of an individual and his love for science. The Birthmark is a story about a philosopher named Aylmer who just needs everything around him as perfect as nature itself. He further describes the love of Aylmer for his wife Georgiana and compares it to his love for science. Aylmer in the story is married to Georgiana but after his marriage sees a defect on Georgiana’s face which he tries to cure through his scientific methods. This attempt by Aylmer is failed to leave Georgiana dead at the end of the story. Similarly, another work of literature by Ernest Hemingway named Hills Like White Elephants provides the first-person conversation between two couples who are facing problems. In hidden words, Ernest is telling about an operation which the girl has to go through because her boyfriend wants. The first person conversation indicates in the end that the girl is not willing to get operated by her own will but for the sake of her boyfriend, she is ready to be operated upon.
Both the stories basically revolve around the aspect of love, selfishness, and morality. It is seen that birthmark is providing an overview of the whole scenario of what is happening in the lives of Aylmer and Georgiana whereas in Hills Like White Elephants the whole scenario is not provided with to the audience. Birthmark provides an insight into the life of the philosopher and Georgiana and also provides with the difficulties that they are facing whereas in the other story no such thing has been done. Hills like White Elephants revolve mostly around a first-person conversation whereas in Birthmark definitive philosophical words are used so as to enlighten the audience about whatever the situation is. The scenario in Birthmark is described perfectly whereas Hills Like White Elephants is not elaborated enough to provide the audience with definitive answers.
The dialogue delivery in Birthmark is more of the sort of a traditional English Literature form whereas in the other story the dialogue delivery is from modern time. The philosophical times can clearly be viewed in the dialogue delivery of the Birthmark whereas modern times can be viewed in Hills like White Elephants. The surroundings have been described more specifically in a third-person narration in the story Birthmark whereas only specific details regarding the story have been given in Hills like White Elephants.
It is seen that in both stories women have proved to be more loyal than men. Georgiana in Birthmark is willing to take every step that her husband wants her to do. She is even risking her life for the satisfaction of her husband. A similar scenario is seen in Hills Like White Elephants in which the woman is willing to go through everything that her boyfriend wants her to do. Like Georgiana, Jig also wants happiness and is trying to satisfy her boyfriend. It is seen that in both the stories men are using materialistic approaches towards their women. Like in Birthmark Aylmer knows the risk of removing the birthmark of Georgiana but even then is willing to take the risk to gain the materialistic beauty of Georgiana. Similarly in the other story, the American is willing to take the risk of operation and poses to his girlfriend as if the operation is not about something serious. Both men in the stories want happiness in their lives by risking their love. It is also seen that at the end of the birthmark that because of the passion of Georgiana’s husband she is not able to survive the fluid that she is given by her husband. Nature is also a theme in the story birthmark as the story leaves behind an impact on the reader about things that are given by nature itself to an individual. The birthmark on Georgiana’s face was a sign of blessing for her life but as Aylmer tried to fight with nature he lost his wife. In Hills like Elephants nature is not specifically emphasized upon as a theme. But the story does mention the hills which seem like white elephants. The hills mentioned here are probably signs of an obstacle as faced by the American.
Both the stories are beautifully written but follow one specific theme about love. They show materialism, nature, and love to an extent that is beyond understanding. It can be said in the conclusion that materialistic thoughts are not the solution to surviving in this world but rather a realistic approach towards perceiving things would be a better approach.