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The Birthmark

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Character List

Plot Overview

Analysis of Major Characters

Aylmer -  A brilliant yet misguided scientist and the protagonist of the story. Aylmer’s experiments and creations have made him famous in the scientific community. He has investigated volcanoes, mines, and clouds; bottled the world’s most delicious scents; created a powerful poison; and made a potion capable of erasing physical flaws such as freckles. Although his intentions are good, Aylmer is a selfish and cruel man whose delusions ultimately kill his wife.

Read an in-depth analysis of Aylmer.

Georgiana -  Aylmer’s wife. A beautiful, intelligent, and caring woman, Georgiana is physically and spiritually lovely. Her only flaw is a small red birthmark shaped like a tiny hand on her left cheek. Georgiana worships her husband and submits to his unreasonable demands, despite her suspicions that they will kill her.

Read an in-depth analysis of Georgiana.

Aminadab -  Aylmer’s assistant. A hulking, strong, grubby man, Aminadab is an able helper but simultaneously disgusted by Aylmer’s desire to erase Georgiana’s birthmark. Because Aminadab represents the physical side of existence, his disgust is a strong indictment of Aylmer. Ironically, Aminadab feels more compassion for Georgiana than her own husband does.

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