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Sometimes tragedies, for example, someone’s demise, happen in the world. It is a bitter thing; however, no one is impervious to it. It is considered more humane when an elderly person passes away because of old age, but deaths by irony also occur. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story “The Birthmark” and Oscar Wilde’s famous novel The Picture of Dorian Grey certain female characters are victims of others’ cruelty, insanity or their own emotional lability. Both Georgiana and Sibyl Vane are responsible for the fatal ends of their lives almost to the same extent as their mates.
The heroine from Wilde’s novel is more responsible for her death than Dorian is. Beautiful and tender Sibyl Vane is a seventeen-year-old talented actress at the theatre. Dorian falls in love with her after watching her acting Rosalind in a celebrated Shakespearean play As You Like It” He becomes delirious with love and cannot think of anything else except for his beloved and proposes to her. The couple is meant to marry in a year when Dorian is of full age. Sibyl realizes that she has never felt anything as magical as this love and can no longer play emotions on the stage but she desires to live in reality. The girl fails playing her new role in the next performance, and Dorian begins to realize that he felt in love with her acting but not the girl herself. The conflict is that he cruelly rejects Sibyl’s begging and leaves her to reveal that the smile on the picture gained a sinister sneer. Poor girl decides to commit suicide. Dorian is not aware of this incident until Lord Henry comes to visit him. The pernicious influence of the latter destroys Dorian’s last twinges of conscience. At first, the young man blamed himself for Sibyl’s death as he claims, “I murdered her as surely as if I had cut her little throat” (Wilde, 2015). Later, Lord Henry manages to persuade Grey that he has no fault for Sibyl’s death. At last, under the impact of his frivolous mentor, Dorian begins to evaluate the girl’s demise as “a wonderful ending to a wonderful play” (Wilde, 2015). He becomes even more cynical than the Lord Henry with time, while Sybil’s fragile beauty and tenderness of soul is eternal. It should be said that Dorian is the one who breaks Miss Vane’s heart so cynically and cruelly that it seems impossible for this young creature to withstand. She begins to feel miserable, sorrowful, and chooses to die in a manner of her theatrical characters. However, it does not matter how grim and immoral Dorian is ‑ Sibyl must realize that Dorian does not deserve her and hope for the best in her future despite all the difficulties. However, like a traditional romantic heroine, a girl prefers self-destruction. As a result, Dorian is partly responsible for the actress’ death insinuating her unconsciously to committing suicide, whereas Sibyl herself is the most responsible.
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Both Aylmer and Georgiana are to blame for the death of the latter in Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark.” Aylmer, as a talented but fixated on absolute perfection scientist, is disgusted with his wife’s only flaw, the birthmark in form of a hand that is not visible when Georgiana is blushing. It should be said that the woman is an example of an ideal wife who tries to do her best in order to make her husband happy. However, she is not some kind of downtrodden spouse who is afraid of uttering a word against her mate. Instead, intelligent Georgiana reads philosophical publications and accounts of husband’s experiments in his vast library, and also has her own opinion about them. Moreover, she is nobler than Aylmer as she risks her life only to make somebody happy. In addition, Georgiana may be daring sometimes. For example, the conflict is that she scolds Aylmer for the fact that he did not warn her about the danger of experiment in removing the birthmark: “Why did you hesitate to tell me this?” (Hawthorne, 2013). However, in a moment, she pleases him saying that the only real danger is her birthmark: “Remove it, whatever be the cost, or we shall both go mad” (Hawthorne, 2013). A multitude of admirers dreams of at least touching this beautiful flaw such as birthmark on her cheek to show their fascination. However, Georgiana only worries about Aylmer’s opinion about her. She rejects the other people’s perceptions. As a result, the woman dies but not like a martyr. On the contrary, she shows the last impulse of self-assurance by convincing Aylmer not to regret his deed saying, “My poor Aylmer… you have done nobly; do not repent that… you have rejected the best the earth could offer” (Hawthorne, 2013).
Sibyl Vane in Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Grey and Georgiana in “The Birthmark” are outstanding female characters doomed to die by the writers. Both heroines are the examples of exceptional outer and inner beauty which, though, does not relieve them of the fatal ending. Georgiana is a perfect wife who holds views about all the things in the world, but surrenders trying to please husband’s the most quirky desire. Sibyl Vane, a talented in the past actress, makes quietus after Dorian rejects her love. Both women are to blame for their own deaths almost equally as their mates are.
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