It’s God’s Nature
The readings “The Birthmark,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” by William Wordsworth and Zen Meditation on campus, all deal with seeing beauty in God’s gifts. “The Birthmark,’’ by Nathaniel Hawthorne presents a character, Aylmer, who cannot see past the small, rose-colored birthmark that sits upon his wife’s check and presses her to allow him to remove it. In “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, once again, a husband has trouble noticing the positives in his wife’s condition and tries too hard to keep her in good spirits. William Wordsworth’s poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” portrays a man who can notice the beauty in nature as he takes a stroll through his memories. Zen Meditation ties into all the readings because while meditating you keep open ears to the sounds created by nature and have an appreciation for all living things. Some of us in the world have trouble seeing the beauty in God’s creation, whether it is in nature or in human beings, science seems to get in the way of our appreciation.
Charlotte Perkins Gilman in her short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” portrays a man who takes care of his wife who suffers from “nervous depression.” After being diagnosed, he moves her to a house upstate for the summer to “help” her condition. What her husband fails to realize is that he is only making her condition worse by not allowing her to do what would actually make her happy. Instead of loving and nurturing her, she feels as though he belittles her thoughts, concerns and illness. In the new house the narrator begins to write a journal where she speaks about how beautiful and grandeur the house is, but at the same time describes it as an aristocratic estate or a haunted house. As the story goes on we notice the narrator growing more and more anxious about the yellow wallpaper and states seeing women coming out of the wallpaper. “I wonder if they all come out of that wallpaper as I did!” (Gilman 398). All along her husband fails to notice that what he is doing to her, by keeping her in her room, is only hurting her and causing her to grow more insane. It would’ve helped if he had allowed her to go outside, enjoy nature and show her some affection.
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s short story, “The Birthmark,” he writes about a husband who has a love for science and experimenting with things that are revolutionary for his time. Instead of appreciating his wife’s beauty, he has trouble holding back the wonder in his mind and asks if he may remove that mark on her face. “Has it never occurred to you that the mark upon your check might be removed?” (Hawthorne 467). After questioning his wife she gets upset and feels that she has to let him do what he wants in order for him to love her. With his efforts to remove her birthmark he manages to also take her life. Instead of appreciating her beauty and uniqueness given to her by God, he wants to make her perfect and winds up killing the thing that makes him most happy.
The poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” by William Wordsworth talks about a man who finds great love and appreciation for nature. This scene of daffodils next to a great lake has become embedded in his mind so whenever he is feeling “vacant” or “pensive” it pops up and makes him feel bliss and solitude. Zen meditation would tie into this poem because when meditating one must create a blissful picture to keep serenity. One must remain still for a given amount of time and in order to do so one must go to a place that creates peace and will help them remain calm. For me I thought of a place like the poem talks about, appreciating Gods creation in nature. It made me appreciate everything that I have been given in my life and all God has provided for me.
“The Birthmark,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” by William Wordsworth and Zen Meditation on campus all ties into appreciating the beauty around us. Within each we find the characters and myself finding love for others and nature. It takes a lot for someone to realize the beauty in other’s and nature, especially when ideas of science block our thanks for God.