Essay on Birthmark

This essay has a total of 460 words and 2 pages.


Birthmarks, are they a sign of imperfection or not? Are they a curse or something special?
In the 1840's when this story The Birthmark was written the social beliefs were heavily
influenced by the Puritan religion. It was believed that religion was the answer to all
problems which left no room for science, the two were totally incompatible. Another
puritan belief was in the biblical creation theory which was basically that god created
the earth, he was responsible for giving life and the taking it away. Science on the other
hand, had to have everything explained in minuet detail, but when you explain away the
magic you tend to destroy things. In the story the wife was perfect in every way except
one; she had a little mark on her cheek. Some said she had been touched by the hand of a
fairy before birth and was blessed, others saw it as a sign of nature's imperfection.

While social beliefs were heavily influenced by religion the area of science was making a
distinct impression and coming into great influence as well. It challenged the biblical
creation theory with the discovery of fossils. There were also ideas of science being the
new savior of the world, with science there would be new medicines, new technology, and
science could fix anything. The husband was a man of science and shortly after being
married the birthmark began to bother him, so much in fact that it began to bother his
wife as well. Every time he would look at her or causally comment on it she would become
upset, eventually she confronted her husband about fix it or she'd rather be dead. Being
the scientist he was and the belief that science could fix anything, he began working on a
cure. As with all things finding a "cure" took time, during which time they remained
Continues for 1 more page >>