In Hawthorne’s, Gilman’s and Wordsworth’s works each author expresses self-acceptance in different forms; similarly meditation is about being confident in one self. In “The Birthmark” Hawthorne emphasizes the importance of acceptance of others. On the other hand “The Yellow Wallpaper” shows through the main character that too much self-evaluation can lead to insanity. In “I Wandered Lonely as A Cloud” the speaker connects with nature and uses it as a guide to achieve salvation. Viewing all of these forms of self-acceptance helped me realize that meditation advocates for reflection.
Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Birthmark” is about a husband’s disapproval of a birthmark on his wife’s cheek. Alymer doesn’t realize “Georgiana's lovers were wont to say that some fairy at her birth hour had laid her tiny hand upon the infant's cheek, and left this impress there in token of the magic endowments that were to give her such sway over all hearts.” (467) Hawthorne tries to show that often a person’s imperfection makes them a perfect human being. The main character Alymer doesn’t realize until after his wife’s death that Georgiana’s effort to please him was what made her perfect; the removal of the birthmark would in fact lead to his ultimate loss.
In “The Yellow Wallpaper”, Charlotte Perkins Gilman uses the main character’s obsession with writing and her depression as form of self-deprecation. Because the main character is isolated from the rest of the world she believes that the wallpaper is taking over and controlling her life. The narrator also believes that she is a product of the wallpaper and must rip the paper off the wall to finally free her self. I believe that because the narrator had so much time in isolation she believes that she is insane.
Lastly William Wordsworth uses his poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud” to reevaluate the meaning of life. The speaker says “ and then my heart with please fills, and dances with the daffodils” (635) Wordsworth tries to convey that like nature we should accept ourselves for who we are rather than always being filled with disappointment.
I feel that the three authors and their works definitely set a good precedent for zen meditation. At meditation is learned that self-evaluation is the key to confidence. Although the experience was very different than I thought zen meditation is definitely very calming and provides time to evaluate your day. Like the works we read this week meditation encourages accepting one self.