Process Analysis Essay Example

I wrote my short story relating to the pursuit of perfection in “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne. In my story, I approached the concept of striving for perfection different from how Aylmer did; Aylmer and Anthony both strongly desire perfection, but they approach this same goal from different angles and understandings of what perfection means. While Aylmer decided to take the fatal risk of trying to remove Georgiana’s birthmark, Anthony strives for perfection by doing absolutely nothing all day, but sitting in his leather chair. Even though these two approaches are different, both methods fall out of what is considered socially acceptable. Anthony has lived inside his home doing nothing for a long period of time, completely withdrawing from any social interaction. Aylmer, on the other hand, is willing to put his own wife’s life on the line. Complete social removal, and taking fatal risks on a loved one to fix a benign flaw are both considered abnormal and socially unacceptable.

Both characters also have a distorted, unreachable view of what perfection is. In Anthony’s distorted world view, any external feeling of negativity is worse than death. His fear of feeling pain from the outside world overrides any feeling of isolation and loneliness, so he considers this monotonous state of staying in the same place perfect. Anthony was originally a normal, logical person who was involved in the outside world, but the gruesome death of his wife in a car accident out of his control made him believe that anything he does, whether it is his fault or not, will end up in a brutal tragedy, so the only way to be in a state of perfection that avoids such disasters is to prevent anything external from happening to him whether it is beneficial or detrimental. Aylmer’s vision of perfection is also flawed, but in a different way. He wants his wife to be as physiologically flawless as possible by removing a hand shaped birthmark on her face, but she dies after an attempt to remove it. His perspective is distorted because if he removed the birthmark, imperfection would still be heavily prominent in his own life with his failed experiments, and other personal imperfections.

Finally, both men fail to reach their goal of perfection by the end of their stories. At the end, Georgiana dies, and Anthony fails to find fulfillment, despite avoiding any risk from the outside world.


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