The Importance of Whiteness and Race in Hawthorne’s The Birth-Mark

May 2, 2019 by Essay Writer

Critical readings of Hawthorne’s “The Birth-Mark” tend to focus mainly on Aylmer’s attempt to overpower the hand of God, and the boundaries between science and nature. In the vast array of scholarship on the story, however, little has been said of its racial undercurrent. Written in a time in American history when racial biology and eugenics dominated scientific studies, Hawthorne’s story is obsessed with the notions of whiteness, purity, and physical appearance. In this paper, I intend to prove that Aylmer’s desire to remove Georgiana’s birthmark represents nineteenth-century white anxiety about miscegenation, and the desire to advance a superior, white race.It will better serve my purpose to first examine some of the theories of racial biology that were popular around the time of the story’s publication. Two works will be of particular help: Samuel Otter’s Melville’s Anatomies and Shawn Michelle Smith’s American Archives. Otter identifies many of the studies in racial differences, while Smith relates these studies to the preservation of the white middle class, and the role of visual culture in nineteenth-century America. According to Otter, Dutch anatomist Petrus Camper arranged skulls in ascending order, based on cranial measurements. His study, From Ape to Apollo Belvedere, concluded that the “geometric equations by which the angle of the face increased” was directly proportionate to “the civilized characteristics of its wearer” (Otter 34). After evaluating the shapes of different human heads, German physiologist Johann Friedrich Blumenbach concluded that “the Caucasian cranium was aesthetically superior,” and therefore “must have been the original type of head created by God” (24). Studies in phrenology, craniology, physiognomy, and other branches of science concluded universally that the Caucasian, in body and mind, was superior over all other races.Smith traces the ways in which the white middle class used racial biology and eugenics to affirm its place in society and prevent other races from gaining social mobility. Not only the body, but the blood of whites, too, was considered superior, and miscegenation posed a major threat to that superiority. Whites were harshly discouraged from interbreeding, since the blood of another race would contaminate and weaken “pure” Caucasian blood. Demonstrating the widespread fear of miscegenation, a mid-nineteenth century law ordered the sterilization of prisoners and mental patients. Smith also notes that the superiority of Caucasian blood was an important factor in the psychology of lynching. “The white lynch mob’s cry of rape,” she claims, “functioned to incite outrage not only at the violation of ‘innocent’ white womanhood but also at the ‘contamination’ of the white bloodline” (147). Often, whites castrated black males prior to lynching; the idea was to literally remove the “threat” of interracial mixing and feminize the black male body in order to reclaim white male superiority. Both Smith and Otter agree that by the 1850s, scientific justification of racial inequality was accepted as fact.At the beginning of “The Birth-Mark,” Aylmer tells Georgiana that her birthmark is a “defect,” and the “visible mark of earthly imperfection” (qtd. in Lauter, 2225). Implicit in his remark is that Georgiana’s birthmark compromises her beauty because it compromises her whiteness. The narrator’s description of the birthmark as being “a crimson stain upon the snow” (2226) is particularly telling. The word “stain” is highly suggestive of white racism, as is the association of a blemish-free face with snow, or whiteness. The birthmark’s threat to Georgiana’s whiteness is also a threat to the whiteness of her future offspring. According to Smith, in the nineteenth century, the middle-class white woman was the “locus of biological inheritance,” (124), or vehicle through which the advancement of a superior, white generation could be achieved. Thus, Georgiana’s birthmark presents an obstacle to the reproduction of a white child in Aylmer’s image.Here, again, it will be helpful to turn to Smith’s historical account, particularly her treatment of the family photograph album as a social document and a vehicle for preserving the white middle class. In the chapter entitled “Baby’s Picture is Always Treasured: Eugenics and the Reproduction of Whiteness in the Family Photograph Album,” she argues that members of the white middle class documented their existence in family albums as a way of preserving their place in society. In his studies in eugenics, Francis Galton brought elements of science into the family album. With a desire to develop scientific proof of white superiority, he encouraged white middle-class families to document details of their babies’ physical growth. By charting their babies’ growth and matching it with predetermined standards, white middle-class families could affirm scientists’ claims about superiority and ensure that their children would continue their legacy. Smith argues, “we can begin to read the growing interest in ‘baby’s picture’ not only as a commercial fad or a sentimental ritual but also as a desire to delineate the future of racial bloodlines through photographic artifacts. In this expanded cultural context, ‘baby’s picture’ signifies not only as a sentimental memento but also as the scientific ‘evidence’ of the family’s racial reproduction” (132).The important comparison in Smith’s argument is between the middle-class white woman and the camera. She writes, “The role of the middle-class white woman as both the mechanical reproducer of “baby’s picture” and the biological reproducer of whiteness (in the baby’s body) converged in the nineteenth-century science of eugenics” (124). The picture of a white baby became an emblem of racial reproduction, while the white mother, through photographic and physical reproduction, preserved and propagated the biological superiority of the white middle class.Smith’s reading of baby portraits and family photograph albums sheds new light on the scene in Hawthorne’s story involving photography. The moment at which Aylmer makes a daguerreotype of Georgiana is indeed a crucial point in the story, and one that is frequently overlooked by critics. The daguerreotype of Georgiana is important on one hand because it identifies Aylmer and Georgiana as members of the middle class. As Smith writes, “Daguerreotypy opened up the elite domain of portraiture to members of the emerging middle classes… In one sense…the daguerreotype portrait functioned as a middle-class appropriation of aristocratic self-representation, as a sign of emerging middle-class cultural power” (13). The narrator’s description of Georgiana’s boudoir provides further evidence of Aylmer’s middle-class status: “The walls were hung with gorgeous curtains, which imparted the combination of grandeur and grace, that no other species of adornment can achieve…” (2229). The placement of the daguerreotype in the story, coupled with the narrator’s description of the boudoir, locates Aylmer in the middle class, making him a representative figure of nineteenth-century white males who desired to preserve their legacy.More importantly, the daguerreotype of Georgiana is a way for Aylmer to “test” Georgiana’s reproductive capabilities. Just as nineteenth-century baby pictures served as evidence of the propagation of a white middle class, Georgiana’s daguerreotype serves as evidence of her potential to produce offspring; the image reproduced in the metallic plate is symbolic of her future progeny. After Aylmer produces the daguerreotype, the narrator tells us that Georgiana finds “the features of the portrait blurred and indefinable,” and that the figure of a hand appears “where the cheek should have been” (2230). The appearance of the birthmark in Georgiana’s portrait suggests that her offspring will be “tainted” with the same “stain,” or mark of racial identity. Thus, when Aylmer snatches the metallic plate and throws it into a jar of corrosive acid, he responds to the visual threat that his offspring will not be purely white.I must pause briefly to address one possible critique of my reading thus far. The evidence about family albums on which I have drawn to make my claims is anachronistic in reading “The Birth-Mark.” Family albums only became widespread after Kodak’s introduction of flexible film and the birth of mechanized printing establishments in 1888 (Hales 260-261). However, I contend that the consideration of photography as a means for preserving the white middle class is still highly relevant to interpreting the story. Smith notes, “From the moment of its 1839 inception in daguerreotypy, the first photographic process, the photographic image has been conceptualized as a means of preserving family history and of documenting family genealogy” (116). Furthermore, the relationship between visual culture and the preservation of the white middle class is one of several themes in Hawthorne’s The House of The Seven Gables, published only eight years after “The Birth-Mark.” Smith writes, “The correspondence between Holgrave’s physical qualities and his personal character resonates powerfully with the racialized connection linking body to mind that Francis Galton would proclaim and that Josiah Nott imagined decades earlier” (43). Thus, it is not inappropriate to use Smith’s interpretation of family documents as a tool for reading Hawthorne’s story. Nor is it unfair to assume that when writing “The Birth-Mark,” Hawthorne was frequently thinking about the significance of the daguerreotype with respect to race and racial biology.In fact, the narrator gives several clues to Hawthorne’s preoccupation with race and racial biology. When Aylmer exclaims, “Georgiana, you have led me deeper than ever into the heart of science” (2228), it is quite possibly a reference to the racial sciences of Hawthorne’s day. In the context of the quotation, Aylmer is claiming that his attempts to remove her birthmark have led him “deeper than ever” into science. Similarly, scientists of Hawthorne’s day were lead “into the heart of science” in their attempts to justify white superiority in phrenology, physiognomy, and other sciences. Slightly later, the narrator remarks that Aylmer, in his youthful days, had “made discoveries…that had roused the admiration of all the learned societies in Europe” (2228), identifying Aylmer with the white, Anglo-Saxon European, considered the noblest and fittest of all human specimens. And in the following sentence, the narrator calls him the “pale philosopher,” drawing even more attention to his whiteness and his roots in a Western tradition of white males. The narrator also tells us that among other scientific pursuits, Aylmer “had explained the mystery of fountains, and how it is that they gush forth, some so bright and pure…from the dark bosom of the earth” (2228). The choice of wording “bright and pure” water spewing forth from the “dark bosom” of the earth is highly suggestive of reproduction. Moreover, the image of a white substance birthed from a dark body is indicative of Aylmer’s concern with Georgiana (who is marked by a racial “stain”) producing a white child. Finally, the narrator tells us that in addition to the previously mentioned scientific pursuits, Aylmer “had studied the wonders of the human frame” (2228). Aylmer’s interest in the human frame is undoubtedly a reference to nineteenth-century studies of the human body such as Camper’s From Ape to Apollo Belvedere.Aylmer’s scientific interest in the Elixir Vitae and his desire to prolong life is also suggestive of his desire to preserve and proliferate a white race. However, his reliance on science to prolong life proves to be problematic. As the narrator tells us, “[Aylmer] more than intimated, that it was his option to concoct a liquid that should prolong life for years – perhaps interminably – but that it would produce a discord in nature, which all the world, and chiefly the quaffer of the immortal nostrum, would find cause to curse” (2230). When Aylmer discovers the limits of reaching eternal life through science, he turns to the next best thing – a white woman who can reproduce his image. At the opening of the story, we are told that Aylmer “left his laboratory to the care of an assistant, cleared his fine countenance from the furnace-smoke, washed the stains of acids from his fingers, and persuaded a beautiful woman to become his wife” (2225). We do not know, at first, what inspired this relinquishing of science in exchange for marrying a beautiful woman. It is only when we learn that his studies in alchemy, specifically his interest in the Elixir Vitae, “would produce a discord in nature,” thereby foiling his project to prolong his own white, middle-class life, that we realize his real reason for leaving science. When the speaker in Shakespeare’s Sonnet #1 says: “From fairest creatures we desire increase/ That thereby beauty’s rose might never die,” he posits procreation as an alternative way to defy Time. Similarly, when science fails him, Aylmer looks to Georgiana to preserve his own image, and one that is most importantly, white.This claim is further supported by what the narrator tells us about Aylmer’s scientific journals. He says:But, to Georgiana, the most engrossing volume was a large folio from her husband’s own hand, in which he had recorded every experiment of his scientific career…The book, in truth, was both the history and emblem of his ardent, ambitious, imaginative, yet practical and laborious, life…Much as he had accomplished, she could not but observe that his most splendid successes were almost invariably failures, if compared with the ideal at which he aimed. (2232)Georgiana’s observation that his successes were “almost invariably failures” compared with his ideal points again to the limitations of science on his project. The “ideal at which he aimed,” is without question the prolonging of life. Despite the narrator’s remark that the book was “the history and emblem of his…life,” the pages of a book will invariably fade, just as his scientific attempts to prolong life indefinitely will invariably fail. Thus, Aylmer turns to the beautiful Georgiana, who can reproduce his image through her offspring.It is not until one day “very soon after their marriage” that Aylmer gazes at Georgiana’s birthmark, recognizing it as an obstacle to his design and producing a “trouble in his countenance” (2225). Calling it a “defect” and a “visible mark of earthly imperfection,” he realizes that the birthmark compromises Georgiana’s whiteness, and consequently, the whiteness of his future offspring. He is left with no choice but to return to science in an attempt to rid his wife of her mark that prevents her from being the perfect white woman.If Aylmer represents whiteness and scientists of racial biology, his racial counterpart in the story is his lowly servant, Aminadab. The first information given about him is that he is “a man of low stature, but bulky frame, with shaggy hair…which was grimed with the vapors of the furnace” (2228). Slightly later, the narrator comments, “With his vast strength, his shaggy hair, his smoky aspect, and the indescribable earthiness that incrusted him, he seemed to represent man’s physical nature, while Aylmer’s slender figure, and pale, intellectual face, were no less apt a type of the spiritual element” (2229). Several things are worthy of notice in the language of Aminadab’s description. First, his “low stature” places him in direct contrast to the white male standard of civilization, or Apollo Belvedere figure. Second, his “smoky aspect” suggests that his skin is of a dark hue (particularly when compared to Aylmer’s pale complexion), and casts him as a racialized figure in the story. Third, Aminadab’s physical features are placed in direct contrast (and an inferior position) to Aylmer’s “pale, intellectual face,” which enacts a hierarchy of whiteness over darkness. Finally, the narrator’s use of the word “type” evokes the attempts of nineteenth-century scientists to form racial types, or guidelines for distinguishing whites from other races.Scholarship that has attempted to analyze Aminadab – specifically his name – has been widely unsuccessful. Alfred Reid, W.R. Thompson, and Hugo McPherson contend that Hawthorne drew the name “Aminadab” from a biblical source (Rees 171), while Edward Van Winkle suggests that “Aminadab” is an anagram for “bad anima” or even for “bad in man.” While some of these critical studies on Aminadab’s origin reflect clever thought, only one is convincing enough to discuss here, and that is the suggestion that Hawthorne’s Aminadab bears significant resemblance to Caliban, from Shakespeare’s The Tempest. The similarities between the two characters have been suggested by Karl Wentersdorf, and summarized in an article by John Rees. Rees remarks:Both of these clod-creatures are darkly ugly, strong but stunted in growth, well-suited to their menial labors, and covertly critical of their masters; these masters in turn use ‘earth’ and kindred epithets to describe them both, and stress the predominance of animality and the physical in their common nature… (179)He goes on, saying “even Caliban’s lewd chuckling, when he remembers his attempt to rape Miranda (I.ii.349-51), seems a foreshadowing of Aminadab’s “gross hoarse chuckle” as he watches the sleeping Georgiana’s face and his imagining, ‘If she were my wife…'” (179). Finally, Rees observes that “Aminadab” repeats the vowel sequence of “Caliban,” in addition to two of its four consonants” (179).The comparison of Aminadab to Caliban is particularly useful because post-colonial literary critics have often read Caliban as a representative figure for the colonized, racialized “other.” The Tempest, published in 1611, was partly inspired by a letter to England written by William Stratchey, detailing the voyage of the Sea Venture. The ship’s crew, which set sail in 1609 in order to help colonize New England, encountered a storm and was stranded on the island of Bermuda, known as the “isle of devils” (Langbaum 92). Shakespeare’s Caliban, who is native to the island that Prospero usurps, is frequently understood to represent the subject of European colonialists, either as a native of Bermuda or a native American. Capitalizing on Caliban’s association with the colonized and racialized “other,” Hawthorne draws the reader’s attention to the resemblance in Aminadab in order to cast Aylmer as a white, colonizing male, and to reinforce the racial undercurrent of the story.The detail that most strongly links Caliban to Aminadab as a racialized “other” is his physical appearance. In the dramatis personae, Shakespeare describes him as “a savage and deformed slave” (Signet edition). First, the word “savage” evokes the imperial vocabulary that colonists would use to describe natives. Second, the word “deformed” suggests that his body is physically inferior. Stephano calls him “monster” (III, ii, 3), while Trinculo remarks that he looks and smells like a “fish” (II, ii, 25-27). In his characterization of Caliban, Shakespeare utilizes a type: the colonized native is made a slave, and described as dark and physically deformed. This idea of physical deformity as part of a type is strikingly similar to the racial types of nineteenth-century America. Shakespeare’s use of physical deformity to cast Caliban as a racial type is reborn in nineteenth-century studies in phrenology, craniology, and physiognomy, depicting non-whites as physically inferior to the Caucasian model of perfection. Shakespeare even addresses the issue of miscegenation when Caliban laments being unsuccessful in raping Prospero’s white daughter, Miranda: “O ho, O ho! Would’t had been done! / Thou didst prevent me; I had peopled else / This isle with Calibans” (I, ii, 349-351). Hawthorne picks up on the theme of miscegenation in his story when Aminadab reflects, “If she were my wife, I’d never part with that birth-mark” (2229).While we can never ascertain Hawthorne’s reasons for choosing the name “Aminadab” with absolute certainly, it is useful to explore its similarities to Caliban; both Aminadab and Caliban represent the racialized “other,” and are placed in opposition and submission to a superior, dominating white male who wishes to preserve his own legacy.Given the presence of a racial undercurrent in the story, the reader may wonder what Hawthorne’s attitude is towards these issues of race. On the most basic level, the story may be read as a rejection of white supremacist logic. Georgiana’s death proves the failure of Aylmer’s project, which is to continue the legacy of the white middle class. Not surprisingly, it is ultimately Georgiana’s whiteness that kills her, as Aylmer exclaims “But she is so pale!” immediately prior to her death. The death of the “now perfect woman” (2235) seems to suggest Hawthorne’s disapproval of Aylmer’s intentions, and of white supremacy in general. Furthermore, the “hoarse, chuckling laugh” that sounds from the lips of Aminadab at the moment of Georgiana’s death suggests that he, the inferior, non-white servant, is the true victor in the story.Despite Georgiana’s death at the end of the story, leaving Aylmer with no means of reproducing, Edgar Allan Poe writes, “the death…of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world” (qtd. in Lauter, 1533). For Poe, the death of a beautiful woman creates a temporary void, or “deficit” of beauty (which, he notes, is “the sole legitimate province” of his work). That “deficit” must then be filled by the narrator, or indirectly, by the author himself. The death of a beautiful woman, then, is a kind of literary inspiration; the beauty of the dead woman is replaced by the author’s “beauty,” or narrative, often in the form of a speaker’s confession.”The Birth-Mark” operates under the same principle. Georgiana’s death serves as inspiration for the speaker’s narrative, and without her death, there would be no story to tell. While she cannot physically produce offspring, she can (in death) give birth to a narrative. Georgiana’s death results in the triumph of a white author, who advances his own legacy through narrative. First, Aylmer attempts to prolong life with the Elixir Vitae. Unsuccessful in those pursuits, he turns to Georgiana, a white woman, to prolong life through physical reproduction. Finally, when that fails, the author intervenes, prolonging his legacy on the white pages of books. Again, the speaker of Shakespeare’s Sonnets comes to mind, saying “So long as men can breathe or eyes can see / So long lives this, and this gives life to thee” (Sonnet 18). The word “this” is self-referential; while the addressee of the sonnets refuses to procreate and preserve his image, the speaker responds by saying that the youth’s image will be preserved in his poetry.Even this logic, however, is not as simple as it seems. Hawthorne encourages us to consider whether or not words can ever truly replace a human life. If so, then perhaps the white author wins out over all other factors. If not, though, then we must look further. What is left to readers today is the title of the story, “The Birth-Mark,” which also signifies the mark of racial color. What confounds our attempt to interpret Hawthorne’s attitude is the conflation of signifier and signified. On one hand, the title of the story (and consequently the legacy of whiteness) survives on the white pages of our books. On the other hand, however, the signified birthmark itself, a symbol of racial color, also survives by means of the title. Thus, we are confronted with the question, does the signified (the birthmark) trump the title (“The Birth-Mark”)? If so, are we then to read the story as a rejection of white racism?Considering all of these factors, I contend that the story is, in fact, a condemnation of white racism. As Smith points out, photography was vital to the preservation of the white middle class in the nineteenth century. However, photographs, like all memories, fade with time. Smith demonstrates this notion in a quotation from R.H.E.’s Godey’s Lady’s Book, written in April 1867:Somehow it gives me a desolate feeling to think of having my faded picture trundled about some hundred years hence as worthless lumber, or being tolerated as a thing of habit, rather than affection, in some out-of-the-way corner. Perhaps saucy children will some day stick pins through my eyes, and scratch my cheeks and nobody will be grieved or angered by it. (qtd. in Smith 51)R.H.E.’s anxiety about the fading of her portrait symbolizes the white middle class’ anxiety about the fading of its legacy, specifically through a process of weakening, brought about by miscegenation.Like photographs, pages, too, turn yellow and fade with time. The pages of a book are, like Georgiana, fallible, and existing original copies of “The Birth-Mark” surely illustrate the fallibility of the written word. Furthermore, only words have survived, not the characters themselves. This points to the fallacy in Poe’s statement about the death of a beautiful woman. Particularly in his use of refrain, Poe emphasizes the hollowness of the words on the page – words that are incapable of replacing a human life. Therefore, to claim that the legacy of whiteness is preserved in the pages of “The Birth-Mark” is to swear by a fleeting piece of evidence. Rather, “The Birth-Mark” professes that we should not attempt to rid our loved ones of their birthmarks, just as we should not attempt to rid our society of racial “otherness.” In order to produce offspring, Aylmer must accept Georgiana as she is, birthmark and all. If the birthmark represents non-white racial identity, then Hawthorne’s point is that if the human race is to continue, miscegenation is inevitable. Speaking to the racial biologists, ethnologists, and white middle class of his time, Hawthorne calls for them to relinquish notions of white supremacy, and embrace miscegenation as a necessary part of our survival. Aminadab, type-cast though he may be, is the most rational character in the story. And when his “hoarse, chuckling laugh” is heard at the end of the story, it is because he, indeed, has the last laugh. In giving Aminadab the last “word” (so to speak), Hawthorne ends the story with the legacy of the non-white character, rather than the middle-class white male.Hawthorne’s motive, however, is to transcend racial boundaries, not to reverse white supremacy. The birthmark is not only a symbol of racial color, as Aylmer reads it, but also a symbol of human mortality and imperfection. In the narrator’s words, it is “the fatal flaw of humanity,” and a mark that Nature stamps “on all her productions” (2226), regardless of race. Aylmer’s obsession with Georgiana’s birthmark represents nineteenth-century America’s obsession with using physical characteristics to define interior character. Smith frequently discusses the concept of the white masculine “gaze,” through which the white middle-class patriarchy affirmed its authority and racial superiority. She uses the term “white supremacist gaze,” coined by Bell Hook, “as a means of making explicit the ways in which the cultural privilege of looking has been racially coded in the United States” (258). In fact, the word “gaze” appears many times throughout Hawthorne’s text, as in the following examples: “Aylmer sat gazing at his wife” (2225), “Georgiana soon learned to shudder at his gaze” (2227), and “[Georgiana] slowly unclosed her eyes, and gazed into the mirror…” (2235). This fixation on the gaze – particularly its racial consequences – is precisely what Hawthorne seeks to diffuse. The blurred daguerreotype of Georgiana, in addition to representing Aylmer’s anxiety about a faithful “reproduction” of his whiteness, represents the unreliability of vision, and consequently, Hawthorne’s disapproval of racial prejudices based on physical appearance. Furthermore, it is Aylmer’s scrutinizing gaze that ultimately results in Georgiana’s death. Through the story, Hawthorne deemphasizes the importance of vision and physical appearance in judging interiority, and encourages his readers to transcend the boundaries of color and acknowledge the “birthmark” in every human being.According to one critical reading, Aylmer’s mistake is his conflation of the birthmark itself and his own way of seeing it. His attempt to remove the birthmark represents his desire to eliminate the range of possible meanings and establish his own meaning as the definitive one. In other words, Aylmer attempts to rid Georgiana of her “mark of inter-subjectivity” (Lukasik discussion). I would like to take this interpretation one step further and claim that the interpretation that Aylmer imposes on Georgiana’s birthmark (and the one that Hawthorne denounces) is a racial one. Aylmer’s error is not just his attempt to replace inter-subjectivity with his own interpretation, but more specifically, his attempt to impose a racialized reading on the birthmark. Lukasik suggests that Aylmer mistakes the object that is being seen (the birthmark) for his own way of seeing it. I contend that this confusion of ways of seeing and objects of vision is Hawthorne’s vehicle for commenting on nineteenth-century racism. Aylmer’s assumption that Georgiana’s birthmark represents a flaw is analogous to white assumptions that blackness signifies inferiority. In the same way that Aylmer imposes his own negative “reading” on a neutral object, nineteenth-century whites imposed racialized “readings” on blackness. Unencumbered by individual interpretations, both the birthmark and blackness possess “inter-subjectivity.” However, problems arise when individuals attempt to remove that quality of inter-subjectivity, as in the rhetoric of white racism.Hawthorne’s story, while about man’s attempt to overpower God, is equally a story about racial prejudice in nineteenth-century America. Aylmer’s disgust at Georgiana’s birthmark represents white attitudes towards racial “otherness,” and his desire to remove it before procreating represents the white fear of miscegenation. Ultimately, through Georgiana’s death at the end of the story, Hawthorne denounces white supremacy and scientific studies in racial biology in the nineteenth century, calling for his readers to transcend the boundaries of racial types.Works Cited1. Hales, Peter B. Silver Cities: The Photography of American Urbanization, 1839-1915. Temple U Press. Philadelphia: 19842. Langbaum, Robert, ed. The Tempest, by William Shakespeare. Signet edition. New York: 19983. Lauter, Paul, ed. The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Volume One. Houghton Mifflin Company. Boston: 19984. Lukasik, Christopher. “The Birth-Mark.” Class lecture. EN 533. Boston U. November 6, 20035. McPherson, Hugo. Hawthorne as Myth-Maker: A Study in Imagination (p. 222). U of Toronto Press. Toronto: 19696. Otter, Samuel. Melville’s Anatomies. U of California Press. Berkeley: 19997. Rees, John O. “Aminadab in ‘The Birth-Mark’: The Name Again.” Journal of Onomastics. Sept. 1980; 28(3): 171-1828. Reid, Alfred S. “Hawthorne’s Humanism: ‘The Birth-Mark’ and Sir Kenelm Digby.” American Literature, November 1966; 38: 337-519. Smith, Shawn Michelle. American Archives: Gender, Race, and Class in Visual Culture. Princeton U Press. Princeton: 199910. Thompson, W.R. “Aminadab in Hawthorne’s ‘The Birth-Mark.” Modern Language Notes. June 1955; 70: 413-1511. Van Vinkle, Edward S. “Aminadab, the Unwitting ‘Bad Anima'”. American Notes and Queries. 1970; 8: 131-33

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