Image of Oppressed woman in Nathanial Hawthorne’s ‘’ The Birthmark’’
2014, Volume 4, Issue 12, Pages 328-338
AbstractThe question of women is the dominating motive in Hawthorne’s works, which offer rich images of women; their changing lives, frustrations and dreams. Hawthorne never viewed women as unimportant or as threatening Eves, but rather, as men’s vital, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual partners, companions not threats. In his short stories and romances, Hawthorne creates a wide range of female characters. Some are independent-minded, self-confident; others embody the gender expectations of women in Hawthorne’s day, weak and dependent on men.1
He presents a number of female characters who are victims of men, destroyed by male power. Through these various characters and their experiences, Hawthorne explores the gender relations in his day. He also raises questions about the role of domesticity in shaping female characters and the role of emotion as well as reason in human experience.2
This study focuses on one of Hawthorne’s female character who has been controlled by her selfish husband, Georgiana, the heroine of ‘’the Birthmark’’, and how this selfishness leads to her death. Consequently, woman cannot be defined by her relation to a man because she is an independent human being.
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