The two short stories and poem all have a common theme, which is a longing to become free from something. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark,” Georgiana has a birthmark on her face that causes depression and sadness because it’s the only thing keeping her from being happy. In Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the narrator sits in a room that her husband suggests she say in and this keeps her from being free. In William Wordsworth’s poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” the speaker struggles with being lonely and depressed. All of these literary works demonstrate a struggle with becoming perfect, whether it’s to obtain beauty or freedom.
In “The Birthmark,” Aylmer marries a beautiful woman named Georgiana. Georgiana is Beautiful except for the small birthmark on her face. Aylmer tells her that he does not like her birthmark and that he had a dream about it. In the dream Aylmer attempts to cut the birthmark off of her face, but the more he cuts, the deeper the birthmark goes until it reaches her heart. He tells her that he still kept cutting even though he had to cut her heart. This made Georgiana sad and depressed and she agrees with him that it should be removed. He gives her medicine to make the birthmark go away. The medicine worked but Georgiana looks pale after she awakes and tells Aylmer that she is dying. She was now perfect and could not live on earth anymore.
In “The Yellow Wallpaper” is about a man and a woman who go to a vacation house. The wife is sick and her husband is a doctor. He does not want her to move around and do much because of her illness. She wants to stay in the little cute room on the lower floor of the house but her husband suggests that she stay in the room upstairs, which is airy and big. Not to mention the horrid yellow wallpaper. She hates the wallpaper and spends a lot of time looking at it. Finally, they move out of the room but before she leaves she rips down the wallpaper. She thought that the wallpaper was trapping a woman inside of it. This woman was her, and right before they left the house she tore down the wallpaper, therefore, releasing herself.
In “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” the speaker is wandering around valleys and hills and passes a lake. He notices a large group of daffodils in the breeze. There were a lot of these flowers packed together and they are “Fluttering and dancing in the breeze” (line 6). Not only did the flowers dance, but “the waves beside them danced” (line 13). This experience made the speaker happy, and every time he feels sad or lonely he just thinks of the daffodils and he gets happy again.
All three of these works have to do with being unhappy with their current situation and in order to be happy they have to free themselves. I went to the Zen meditation this past Monday and the main focus was letting go of everything in order to clear your mind to free yourself from everything you stress over. My experience with meditation was very difficult. The class was mostly talking, however, we had to sit in meditation position the whole time and we practiced some of the technique. I had the hardest time trying to sit still for a long period of time. I think the concept is great but I could not get into the hang of it. It takes a lot of patience, focus, and flexibility. The ultimate goal of meditation is to release everything that is bothering you so you can relax and have a spiritually better life. The characters in these works wanted this spiritual freedom. They felt trapped and sad with their current situations.