In “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman the author portrays a battle within the speakers own consciousness as she begins to lose her sanity, “The Birthmark” by Nathaniel Hawthorne informs how we need to come to terms with our imperfections as they are a part of who we are and that trying to change something that is already perfect or alter what was intended to be created can result in dire consequences, and in William Wordsworth poem “As I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” the beautiful imagery influences us to take time to appreciate the beauty of life. All of these works of literature relate in the connection of coming to terms with one’s self. They connect in the way we see ourselves, what goes on in our own minds, and what beauty we can see in life if we simply take time to slow down and look.
In “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman we enter the speakers mind as she battles depression. Throughout the story we can see that being confined to this solidarity is causing her to lose her sanity. She reflects her current situation of feeling trapped and creates a story of a women trapped within the configuration of the wallpaper. We can see that she beings to lose her sanity when this women jumps the line from imagination to reality as the speaker attempts to free her by ripping apart the wallpaper. Everything her husband has done to keep her confined has actually contributed to her destruction as she loses the battle within her own mind.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark” the speaker cannot accept the one “flaw” on his perfect wife’s face. While others appreciate his wife’s beauty, the speaker convinces his wife that this birthmark is hideous and gets her to agree to have it removed in an experiment. The speaker’s wife dies in this experiment which leads us to the moral of this story that we are all beautiful the way we were designed. “You have rejected the best the earth could offer,” his wife’s dying words remind him of his selfishness and unwillingness to be content with something that was already as perfect as it could possibly be (p.447). These external flaws are not truly flaws and we must learn to accept who are and what we look like.
“A host of dancing Daffodils; Along the Lake, beneath the trees, Ten thousand dancing in the breeze,” William Wordsworth paints this picture with vivid imagery describing the beauty of nature as he examines a bed of daffodils. Wordsworth reminds us that we should take time to be alone and examine these beauties in life.
These three works of literature connect by coming to terms with identifying one’s self. Each poem describes an aspect of one’s relationship with themselves whether it be a negative relationship as in “The Yellow Wallpaper” or one of realization as depicted by Wordsworth. Each speaker learns something about themselves and has some type of interaction with their own consciousness. These poems and short stories relate to the Zen meditation I participated in Monday night. In this meditation the focus was on being with one’s self. It meant letting go of all the stress or any situation you may have going on externally and to explore internally. While exploring internally you come to grips with who you are. This meditation allows you to interact within your own consciousness and infers that you should slow down once in a while to look at things in life that you normally wouldn’t as suggested in Wordsworth poem.
Mediation was a great experience and encouraged me to take time out my busy day to stop and think periodically. It was an interesting connection with one’s self just as the poem and short stories connected with the speaker’s selves. I was glad to have benefited from this experience and learned the importance of connecting with oneself.