“The Crimson Hand expressed the ineludible gripe, in which mortality clutches the highest and purest of earthly mold, degrading them into kindred with the lowest, and even with the very brutes, like whom their visible frames return to dust. In this manner, selecting it as the symbol of his wife’s liability to sin, sorrow, decay, and death, Aylmer’s somber imagination was not long in rendering the birth-mark a frightful object, causing him more trouble and horror than ever Georgiana’s beauty, whether of soul or sense, had given him delight. In this quote it explains the effects of “The Crimson Hand,” as it is called. Not only does it mark Georgiana as a human being, but it changes the view of her husband, Aylmer from adoring to obsessing over removing her birthmark, or imperfection. In the end, Aylmer loses the love of his life due to obsessive pride. Georgiana’s birthmark symbolizes morality. Nature makes every living thing flawed in some way, this is nature’s way of reminding us that every living thing has an end. Without this flaw, Georgiana would be perfect and could be mistaken for an angel encased in human flesh.
When Aylmer desires to remove Georgiana’s imperfection, he doesn’t realize that it is Georgiana herself that is the imperfection. Aylmer desires the perfect love with the perfect woman, and he wants to form Georgiana into this. He feels that the birthmark is her only imperfection, but it is a part of her and makes her human, so ultimately he sees her as an imperfection. He becomes consumed by making the perfect love that as a result he doesn’t consciously realize that by eradicating her birthmark, he is killing her. The birthmark serves as a bond between her angelic spirit and her mortal body.
Without the birthmark, she is a perfect woman and so she heads towards heaven. Aylmer gives up science to win the heart of Georgiana, but in the end gives up Georgiana due to his love of science. In his eyes, the birthmark is a sign of mockery because being a scientist he feels he should be able to make her flawless. He throws away his happiness because he fails to look beyond the moment at hand, “to find the perfect future in the present. ” He is blinded by “The Crimson Hand,” and can’t see the woman he fell in love with behind it.
His repulsion of the birthmark suggests that he fears the idea of death. Aylmer tries to persuade his wife that her birthmark is a “liability to sin, sorrow, decay, and death,” (Shmoop) though she is opposite of these characteristics. Her character is not prone to sin and cheerful, until she convinces herself otherwise due to her husband’s constant repulse of her birthmark. Another cause of Georgiana’s death is Aylmer’s pride. Due to what he feels is much success in the field of science he thinks that he can create the perfect woman through Georgiana and as a result, the perfect love.
His obsessive pride becomes a problem and he convinces her that she is severely flawed by her birthmark and that it is a mark of sin. The irony of this idea is that the only sin is that of his pride, which is one of the seven deadly sins. Before she dies, Georgiana says “my poor Aylmer…with so high and pure a feeling, you have rejected the best earth could offer. ” This means that he thought he could make her better but really just let love slip away. The birthmark is seen as a symbol of sin to Aylmer, he associates it with death, sorrow, and sin. Georgiana on the other hand, sees it as a sign of beauty.
In reality, it is not a flaw but evidence of the loving touch from the hand of God. (Sparknotes) Georgiana has natural beauty that cannot be created by science, for example, Georgiana can make her husband happy just by simply singing. Only nature can create such powerful beauty like this. “It was the fatal flaw of humanity, which Nature, in one shape or another, stamps ineffaceably on all her productions, either to imply that they are temporary and finite, or that their perfection must be wrought by toil and pain. ” Aylmer refuses to see Georgiana’s humanity, because humanity is flawed and he only wants perfection.
In this Hawthorne illustrates the sin of overextending our reach from the realm of the natural into the divine. (Bernardo) Aylmer dreams that he and his assistant, Aminadab, cut out Georgiana’s birthmark, but it sinks deeper and deeper into her heart. This dream is what leads Georgiana to allow Aylmer to try and remove her birthmark. Also this foreshadows the connection between the birthmark and her life. Aminadab mentions that if his wife was as beautiful as Georgiana that he would not touch the birthmark. But because of Aylmer’s hate for it, Georgiana grows to hate it too, and soon both are desperate to get rid of it.