Dr. Juniper Ellis
Nature and its Effects on our lives
The three literary works of Wordsworth, Hawthorn and Gillman explore the deeper meaning of how nature affects the human mind. Wordsworth explains how nature can provide a feeling of comfort and joy, as the speaker in “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” is sent back in his memories to a time of bliss. Hawthorn describes the attempts to change the nature of his wife, as his character Alymer tries to change the physical appearance of his love. Gillman talks about the affect nature can have on the mind of a person, as the speaker’s mind is corrupted by the world around her. Finally the poet and story teller Oddsbodkin refers to the uncertainty of nature and how it causes the people of grease to turn to superstitious and religion due to unanswerable questions nature presents to them. As we look at these stories and poems, we see a theme of nature and how it effects the minds and hearts of the people that live in its aura.
The speaker of the poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”, is reflecting on the experience of when he came across a field of daffodils planted besides a lake. The shear number and movement of the flowers that caught his attention. The speaker is trying to convey the connection he had with nature when he saw this field, he shows the unity between him and nature “I wandered as lonely as a cloud, that floats so hi”. In the final stanza, switching from past to present, he talks about laying on the couch. He says that when his mind is cleared or vacant, that thats when the memories of the daffodils come back to him. Giving him joy and bliss. This is why he enjoys solitude, or being alone, because he can think back to those beautiful moments. Wordsworth shows us that nature can give us a sense of relaxation and bliss in our times of strife.
The story of “The Birthmark” Hawthorn talks about the need we feel as a scioty to fix every thing that we see as an imperfection. The battle human verses nature is fought by a scientist who believes he is above the natural laws of the world and has to lose the thing he loves the most to learn his attempts at changing nature are futile. Almer has no control over the spirit and natural born gifts, but he makes potion and potion, elixir after elixir trying to change what nature has given to him, not understanding that it is a gift to be treasured. Hawthorn explains how other men, admirers of Georgiana, would have “risked there lives to press there lips” (467) on her birth mark, and how it was considered an enhancement to her beauty, but Almer is obsessed with changing her. Even her voice which was considered a gift from the gods, was not enough to satisfy the scientists desires, and because of this he paid the ultimate price for his wishes. Georgiana dies with her mark washed away from her face, as her natural self dies from the very potion that “cured her”.
In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, the mind of a young woman is tortured by the inability to express herself and show her true nature to the people she loves. The Narrator is forced to keep her emotions bottled up and hid who she really is, corrupting her mind and not allowing her talk or act as she need to get past her mental state. She is kept from her children, and she is forced to believe it is for her own good, although in her mind she knows that this is not what she needs. The yellow paper that haunts her every day is a representation of her bottled up emotions escaping in the only time she is alone, when she is there in her room. The woman she sees in the paper is herself trying to escape the bonds of her mind because she has no other way to express herself other than over think the patterns on the wall. The narrator consistently talks about the garden and the trees and the flow of the wind because it is the symbol of freedom and expression that she is craving.