In the story The Birthmark by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Aylmers obsession was so severe that it led to his wifes death. The story starts off sweet and sincere, about two newlyweds who soon stumble into a problem. What could have been a true love story soon turns into a nightmare as Aylmer becomes obsessed with removing a small birthmark on Georgianas cheek? He constantly tells her that it is the only thing that keeps her from being perfectly beautiful and is the visible mark of earthly imperfection (340). Aylmer is a scientist, one who believes that science can fix anything. His obsession leads him to nonstop work in his lab believing that he will be able to make the potion to fix her. Georgiana was extremely hurt by his comments and devotion to fixing her, especially when her previous boyfriends told her that the birthmark made her more beautiful. Aylmer is determined to remove the birthmark even after Georgiana hints that it might have some kind of connection to her life. That still does not deter Aylmer, so Georgiana soon submits saying Aylmer, I shall quaff whatever draught you bring me, but it will be on the same principle that would induce me to take a dose of poison if offered by your hand (348).
Georgiana is telling Aylmer that he should remove the birthmark even if his efforts kill her. Aylmers obsession is so deep that he continues with his experiments ignoring numerous warning that things could go wrong. The potion does work, the birthmark slowly disappears after her taking the potion. Just as Aylmer thinks things have turned out well, Georgiana dies. His obsession to remove the birthmark affected his wife negatively causing her to die. If Aylmer had not been so obsessed, basically trying to control nature, then his wife would not have died.
The story Good People by David Foster Wallace is similar to The Birth-Mark because in Good People Lane Dean is obsessed, like Aylmer, with changing something that could negatively affect himself and those closest to him. The story is about a couple facing a tremendously difficult decision. It starts off with the thoughts of a college student, Lane Dean, as he sits on a park bench with his girlfriend, Sheri. Lane and Sheri are faced with an unplanned pregnancy which eventually causes Lane to become obsessed with being a good person. Both of them are committed Christians, which adds to their problems when Sheri schedules for an abortion.
With this decision we see Lane have a significant internal conflict: he doesnt want Sheri to get an abortion because he is so obsessed with being a good person, but he also doesnt want to have a baby for the same reason. His obsession to be a good person is so deep that he was starting to believe that he might not be serious in his faith. He was desperate to be good people to still be able to feel he was good. (255) The reality that he was moving away from his faith made him question whether he was a person good or not. It can be inferred that lane does not want the baby because he does not truly love Sheri, but neither did he ever open up and tell her straight out that he did not love her. If Lane had loved her or even said that he loved her then they would not be in the conflict of Lane containing his true feelings.