Nathaniel Hawthorne's, "The Birthmark," is a short story about science versus nature. Nature has to be appreciated no matter what its flaws. In the story, Aylmer's obsession with his wife Georgiana's birthmark, also known as, "the crimson stain," (Hawthorne 149), compels him to motivate Georgiana to drink his, "elixir vitae," (Hawthorne 156)-his potion of immortality-which successfully vanishes the birthmark but tragically ends her life. Georgiana, according to Hawthorne, is described as being a beautiful, loving, and noble woman. So the question that is begging to be answered is why did Georgiana give her consent to her husband Aylmer which endangered her life to remove her beauty mark for him? Simply put, what on earth was going on in Georgiana's mind?.
Georgiana made that fatal decision because she cares for Aylmer's opinions about herself, she is utterly devoted to him, and she wants to see him happy. Even though Georgiana has shown signs of her good qualities in the story like being intelligent and knowing her self-worth, it seems that she is a complex character with incongruent qualities. For example, when Aylmer deemed her face, "came so nearly perfect from the hand of Nature," (Hawthorne 148) and her beauty mark as, "the visible mark of earthly imperfection," (Hawthorne 148), Georgiana chastises him with mixed emotions of anger and sadness by telling him: "You cannot love what shocks you!" (Hawthorne 148). .
Later on, Georgiana shows a change of heart when she becomes uncomfortable around Aylmer whenever he sees the tiny, "crimson hand," (Hawthorne 150), thus motivating Georgiana to submit in fulfilling Aylmer's desire to get rid of her birthmark. How? Georgiana would address the topic again to Aylmer by asking him: "Do we know that there is a possibility of unclasping the firm gripe of this little hand which was laid upon me before I came into this world?" (Hawthorne 151).