In this story, sunlight represents nature and its influence. Aylmer lights his laboratory with chemical lamps and does not allow sunlight in, which demonstrates his worship of science and scorn of nature’s power. At the end of the story, he finally parts the curtain and allows “the light of natural day” to fall on Georgiana’s face. Acting also as a symbol of clear insight, the sunlight illuminates Georgiana’s death, showing the triumph of nature as Aylmer faces the grave consequences of his desire to use science to alter the natural world.
The timeline below shows where the symbol Sunlight appears in The Birthmark. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.