Blog post 2
The readings: "The Yellow wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, "The Birthmark" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and "I wandered lonely as a cloud" by William Wordsworth all portray a theme on looking at life intently and enjoy in it’s beauty. Gilman’s short story entices the readers to think about things consciously, but not too much. Hawthorne writes to compel the readers to understand that one need to accept one’s own flaws. Finally, Wordsworth reminds us that life in this world is beautiful, and that we need to stop and breathe to realize that it is worth the glance.
In “The Yellow wallpaper,” the speaker and her husband, John, move into a summerhouse for their vacation. The narrator is journaling throughout the short story, and she writes about everything that is going on because when she writes she feels free. John is a physician who thinks his wife is losing her sanity with her writing and tells her that she needs to stop. Throughout the story she continues to write despite what her husband says. The readers soon learn that being confined in a space for a while will leave someone with the free thoughts. The narrator begins to observe the wallpaper and begins to draw an image of a woman caged behind bars trying to creep her way out. The narrator begins to grow an obsession towards the wallpaper and tries to figure out what the pattern is throughout the story. This obsession soon leaves her thinking that she is also the same woman that is creeping out. I believe that Gilman is trying to tell her readers to give everything a little thought, but not too much or else one will end up stressing out, or becoming obsessed.
“The Birthmark” is another short story about Georgiana and the problem that Aylmer has with her birthmark. Aylmer questions Georgiana if she has ever thought about getting the mark removed. He thinks that is her only imperfection. Georgiana reasons with Aylmer and tries to convince him that other people adored her birthmark, and she took it in a positive way. When the time came, Georgiana gave in to Aylmer and gave him permission to remove the mark. After the procedure, Georgiana looks herself in the mirror and tells Aylmer that “[he] has rejected the best the earth can offer.” She then passes. This reminded me of the book The Outsiders when Johnny Cade tells Ponyboy, “Nothing gold can stay” from Robert Frost. Our imperfections also make up whom we are, and we must look past that to realize that we are bigger and better than our bodies. To say that Aylmer lost the “best the world can offer” is appropriate, because if so many people loved her with the birthmark, why couldn’t he?
“I wandered lonely as a cloud,” reminded me of this time I went stargazing in the Shenandoah Valley with my closest friends. I remember looking up at the Milky Way, the seemingly endless lights in the sky, and thinking to myself that this is what I am missing in the city. The imagery used throughout this poem also reminded me of my flight back to Maryland from California. I did feel like a cloud “That floats high o’er vales and hills.” I saw landscapes change from dessert, to the rocky mountains, to the great lakes, and to blanket of green tress that cover the Appalachia and the east coast. The rhyme scheme (ABABCC) also made a wonderful touch to reminisce. This entire poem did not cease to bring me back to those moments of sheer joy with what the world has to offer.