Nathaniel Hawthorne And Edwidge Dadicant’s Portrayal of Symbolism as a Key Factor Depicted in the Birthmark and a Wall of Fire Rising

November 8, 2021 by Essay Writer

Symbolism in literature is the non-literal meaning of a word, but it takes a lot of critical thinking to understand symbolism. In the short stories “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne and “A Wall of Fire Rising” by Edwidge Dandicant symbolism is key to understand the meaning of the story. The birthmark and the hot air balloon both symbolize freedoms that the two main characters are trying to achieve. While Guy is successful with achieving happiness; Aylmer is not successful. Aylmer ends up killing his wife who he adores. Guy ends up dying, but him passing away signifies the opportunity to live a happy life in Heaven.

In “The Birthmark” Georgiana’s birthmark symbolizes mortality. The narrator infers that every living creature has a flaw of some sort; also every living thing eventually dies. Georgiana’s birthmark is the only thing about her that is not “perfect”, but this imperfection makes her human. Aylmer feels horror when he looks at his wife’s birthmark. He is a scientist and everything he tries to make perfect fails. Her cheek is an opportunity for Aylmer to get rid of something that it is imperfect and achieve. He wants to make her “perfect” because everything else is perfect about her except that. He tries the get rid of the birthmark, which he does but she passes a way. This symbolizes that no one can achieve perfectness it is impossible to have no flaws. Everyone has at least one flaw and it is okay to have flaws.

In the short story “A Wall of Fire Rising” the air balloon symbolizes mostly freedom. Guy uses the hot air balloon as an escape for his hard life working as the plantation for low pay. He also uses it to think about his life before he commits suicide. Right before he died he felt free; he didn’t think about his life of poverty. The hot air balloon for Guy also represents his family. This is because he is escaping the hopelessness of his family being able to live through the poverty. The hot air balloon means a better more free life to Lili. She now knows that her son is in a better place where he is happy and free. Lili constantly worries about. Little Guy sees the balloon as freedom from his father. Even though their families have had their hard times this is his father’s way to become happy.

The birthmark and the hot air balloon both symbolize death. Aylmer kills his wife trying to make his wife perfect and Guy commits suicide because his life is not perfect. There is a sense of a “perfect life” that no one can seem to achieve. These two things also symbolize mortality. Both the hot air balloon and the birthmark is the leading cause that makes these two people die. Aylmer tries to get rid of his wife’s birthmark, which causes her death. Guy dies on the hot air balloon to try to reach a freedom. These two people were both striving for a perfect life, which is clearly impossible to reach. The hot air balloon and birthmark are both symbols for happiness. Aylmer would be happy if Georgiana’s birthmark was gone because it wouldn’t distract him from how beautiful she actually is, and he fails. The hot air balloon symbolizes happiness because Guy does not have a good life at home. He is able to escape and go to Heaven and live the life he wants to live. Guy succeeds while Aylmer fails to achieve happiness and freedom.

The symbols in these to stories both signify achieving freedom. We learn that there is no such thing as being perfect except in Heaven. Georgiana no longer has her birthmark while she is in Heaven. Aylmer was able to get rid of her one defect, but he passed away after he did this. She is now “perfect”, but she is now dead. Guy was not able to achieve perfection while he was living but now that he is dead he can have perfection. He has no worries about his family living in poverty. Now he is able to live the life he has dreamed of living.

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