?The Birthmark? written in 1843 by Nathaniel Hawthorne tells the tale of husband?s insane obsession with his wife?s perfection, and wife?s willingness to forgo her own happiness in order to prove her undying love to her husband. ?The Birthmark? though written in the 19th century can still be attributed to modern day life styles. Even now we are still trying to obtain ?perfection? through plastic surgery, magical elixirs, and 24 hour fat burning diet pills.
Nathaniel Hawthorne was born July 4, 1804 in Salem Massachusetts, the descendent of a long line of puritan ancestors, including John Hawthorne, a presiding magistrate in the Salem witch trails. After his father was lost at sea when he was four, his mother became overly protective and pushed him toward more isolated pursuits. It is said that Hawthorne felt a responsibility for his ancestor?s role in the witch trials. His secluded childhood left him overly shy and he turned his attention to reading. As a child he is known to have studied Shakespeare, Milton, Pope and Thompson.
In 1821 Hawthorne entered Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, where he graduated three years later. There he distinguished himself in the classics, and he wrote several creditable English poems.
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