The Birthmark Short Summary
Nathaniel Hawthorne sets the book in the period of the 1700s. The reader is first introduced to a famous scientist called Aylmer. He had married a beautiful woman by the name Georgiana. The scientist loved everything in this woman except that birthmark that was located on the cheek of Georgiana. When he confesses to Georgiana about her dislike for the mark, she is desperate to make him happy by doing everything possible to ensure the birthmark disappears. Aylmer believes that he can use the knowledge he has in science to ensure the birthmark is removed.
The two go to the place where Aylmer’s laboratory is located. He begins by showing Georgiana some tricks in the laboratory. First, he demonstrated how he could make a plant proliferate in a pot with soil. When the plant is touched, it withers. He then looks at a portrait of Georgiana that has a blurry image of her but a clear birthmark. After that, he begins working on the experiment that should lead to the birthmark’s removal. Meanwhile, Georgiana keeps herself busy by reading the books that are inside the laboratory. Most of the publication is by medieval scientific researchers who were all confident that their findings would take the world by storm.
She then goes to the records of Aylmer’s previous experiments. In the books, observable phenomena are explained in a respectable language. Her observation is that most of the experiments did not go as planned by Aylmer.
After a while, Aylmer comes with a concoction to Georgiana. He claims he has worked on it for several years and praises the powers of this concoction. This is the medicine for the birthmark. When she drinks this concoction, the mark disappears. However, she also dies in the process. That turn of events makes Aylmer regret saying it would have been better if he learned to embrace the birthmark.