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Study Questions: The Objectification of Women

2 Pages 592 Words November 2020

1. Describe two ways in which Georgiana is objectified (using Mulvey’s concept of the object) throughout the story. Use two passages from the story to support your answer.

The objectification of women, in general, to be flawless is something that has been prevalent in history for years. Many women feel they need to alter their appearance to make themselves look as to what is portrayed as “perfect”. In, “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne one of the main characters Georgiana is objectified by a birthmark on her face which resembled a bloody hand. Though she never minded her birthmark, after marrying Aylmer she began to hate her birthmark due to him constantly making it a problem. Her husband was an advocate that her birthmark, was a stamp from nature that entailed her mortality. You can see Georgiana being negatively objectified when she says, "It may be the stain goes as deep as life itself. (302)" She says this after Aylmer tells her that her birthmark is a flaw from mankind, after all the mention of her birthmark she now believes that this is a disgusting mark of man’s imperfections due to her husband’s objectification of her. This is the beginning of Aylmer negatively objectifying his wife, by pointing out her birthmark in a negative connotation. We see him bring this up again later which is another example of objectification. He always makes it appears her birthmark is a hideous stamp from nature. We see her feeling objectified again when the narrator says, At the mention of the birthmark, Georgiana, as usual, shrank as if a red-hot iron had touched her cheek” (304). This is a prime example of objectification, Aylmer is making her feel insecure about something that she cannot control. Growing up she never had an issue with this “flaw”, but now that she is married her husband continuously makes her feel self-conscious about it. Which, ultimately leads to her trying to alter herself to become “perfect or...

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