A Comparison between “Stone” by Timothy Findley and Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne Masculinity Concepts
According to the “Stones” by Timothy Findley, a man was bred to become a soldier, and nothing less than that. The masculine identity is an issue that is worth mentioning. The conception of masculinity is manifested in a soldier. The essence of masculinity, according to Findley, is seen when in his qualities of leadership and as the protector of the family. The above roles are operative; to be a figurative and literal soldiers and not that of the opposite women. In the story Stones, one of the characters,, David, experiences psychological problems (43). He has been brainwashed into war; violence, making his definition of masculinity skewed.
On the other hand, the Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne (p. 23) gives a different view of masculinity as below. The symbolism shown by the author is very distinct from the difference in the masculinity of the characters in the novel. The nature of masculinity is demonstrated in the face of Georgiana. It shows the struggle between science and nature via his repeated attempts to remove of masculinity. The clash between nature and science offers the concept of women and man through the femininity of nature and masculine characters of the globe of science.
According to Findley, Davis needs to be a soldier to be considered a man. Findley indicates that psychological torture is worse than physical torture. The author later introduces another character called Ben. Ben’s memories suggest that he is a perfect father. On the contrary, David is a failed soldier with evident problems of femininity. Since David changes into a feminine boy when lily approaches him as a mother, it is noted that the author tried to inform his audience that the role of man should not be confused with that of the women and that the man was the bread winner of the family and the society. In the Birthmark, Throughout the story, nature is seen as feminine and present through Georgiana. This is the same way how science depicts masculinity and symbolizes Aylmer. The dilemma or the conflict between nature and science of the attempts that men have to control women. According to Eckstein, modern science is full of masculine endeavors, and character is considered metaphorically female (512).
From his analysis, it can be concluded that David is less masculine, while Ben is seen as a natural man with masculinity to protect his people and family (96). Findley defines the adverse effects of male psychological dilemma in Stones via indoctrination of violence, the ideal principle of perfection, and the female in contrast. The author informs the reader that gender roles are significant in determining masculinity ideas in humans. OOn the contrary, the Birthmark story states that throughout history, people refer to nature with the preceding word “nature,” making individuals believe that nature can only be considered feminine. A true appeal of such ideas is evident in the contemporary world, where women are now fighting for gender rights worldwide. Rucker sees how Georgia frightens Aylmer; it is seen from the novel that Aylmer fears sexuality (443), incredibly feminine sexuality. He is concerned with managing his wife and her looks. This shows the theme of women versus men.
Findley indicates that departing to war has psychological effects on man. Men are instructed into violence. A man is psychologically disturbed when he knows he has to go to war. Similar men exist out in the streets, gangs of the youths as zombies, extremely defensive of their manhood, challenging the dancing soldiers (Findley 207). Suppose Ben had a chance to come to the street with his greatcoat, it would be assumed that he was a deserter, and the societies patriotism could have come to that (208). The soldiers returned from the war filled with very damaging wounds… it was the women’s role to lift their morale and to deny the harshness of the scars. The physical is not as bad as the psychological. The author shows that men feared psychological wounds rather than physical wounds. The meaning of this in the contemporary world, as indicated by Findley, is that men should not fear the physical experience that we get from time to time,. Still, we should fear the impacts that come with psychological contractions.
On the other hand, in Nathaniel Hawthorne, Aylmer sees Georgiana as an object for perfection except Birthmark in him. Before meeting her,, all he dreamed was science and the art of perfecting nature. He was posed with a degree of belief in man ultimate control of character (p 29). This clearly shows what he ought to perfect from the existing nature.
It is evident from the Stone that women are subjected to simple roles such as soothing their men when “wounded,” indicating that their masculinity is designed for simple functions or duties. Findley informs the audience that masculinity was used to determine a person’s role in society, while the author in Birthmark indicates that difference between men’s and women’s perceptions and stereotype of nature evident among the characters in the novel. The author comes with a clear description of the role that the main characters, such as Aylmer and Georgiana, have towards depicting the parts that gender roles have in society.
The Findley uses masculinity traits to identify characters in the Stone. David is seen as feminine with weak masculine expectations. In contrast, the novel is the actual male image that can fight for the family-brave advocates Ben while in Birthmark, to balance the considerations of Georgiana and the mark, Nathaniel includes the opinion of the masculine observer; if the Birthmark did not show admiration of the contented selves, then the problem lies to the gender roles that nature has indicated in the society of the type of relief that the character presents in the novel.
The Findley also raises the notion of the patriarch. A man is expected to take part in a battle, and such a man is considered the perfect being. However, the notion of perfection prevents an individual’s sense of perspective—both Ben’s and David’s philosophy and blurred. The masculine approach of the perfect father and soldier suggests that David was firm with his Son and Ben’s femininity. David was introduced to violence earlier in life this, rendering his masculine similar to when he became a soldier. The author deduces that one’s masculine nature does not come one a mere trial. It is a learned process. In addition, individual characters are crafted from their male form, while Nathaniel states that information streaming from nature, is coupled with a different meanings in the world of science. He concludes that Aylmer is a person who wishes to define masculinity as the only source of changing nature.
Findley portrays masculine identity to be an adverse psychological concern. Concerning soldiers, the concept of masculinity has been altered. The man’s social identity defined as a leader and provider has produced negatively outcomes. David is seen being psychologically castrated when he returns from war; however; this has given him false protection. The memories that Ben has of David pre-war are unclear, as it is expected that a soldier heading for war should have a solid masculine complex (209).
It is clear from the Stone that the author uses masculinity to arrange his plot from the start of the story to the end. The sequential analysis of the novel was planned on the nature of the character’s representation of their masculinity image. As a new character is added to the plot, his value adds to the depiction of what he denotes of male values or roles. In addition, the author also used masculinity identity to indicate an individual character in the novel. For example, the ideal surface for David was weak, and Ben was previously a courageous man. In Birthmark, on the principles between nature and science, the author used masculinity to define the novel’s plot. He divided the property into several potions defining the role of masculinity in Gender roles.
It can be concluded that masculinity plays a significant role in shaping one’s life as nature and science. Both novels have indicated the fear of masculine roles among characters, hence showing a sense of male responsibility. It is also evident that both are using masculinity in developing plots and character representation.
Erskine, John. “Nathaniel Hawthorne.” In Leading American Novelists. New York: Books For Libraries Press, 1968.
Findley, Timothy. “Stones.” Stones. N.p.: Viking Canada, 1988. 195-221. Print.