Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Reading Analysis

Olivia Silvestri

Within the three assigned readings, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” “The Birthmark,” and “The Yellow Wallpaper,” the idea of beauty is apparent. Even though beauty is the central topic of the readings, the authors approach it in different ways. In William Wordsworth poem, “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” he shares with the readers the attraction of golden daffodils. Where in “The Birthmark,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, the story is told of a man who cannot get passed his hatred for his wife’s birthmark. The third story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” written by Charlotte Perkins Gilman tells of the transition from disgust to love of this old, yellow wallpaper.
The narrator from “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” helps us realize the beauty of simple things, such as the daffodils. Also, he says that in times of reflection he remembers the lovely daffodils and his heart fills with joy.
“The Birthmark,” uses beauty in a different way then Wordsworth’s poem. Hawthorne tells the story of Aylmer and his beautiful wife Georgiana. To Aylmer she is almost perfect, except for a birthmark on her face, which she sees as a charm. He hates the birthmark so much, that he becomes obsessed with wanting it removed from her face. The beauty that he once saw in her dwindles away because of the ugliness he sees in her birthmark.
The transition that the narrator goes through in “The Yellow Wallpaper,” is seeing hate for this wallpaper to seeing the true beauty of it. John, her husband, believes that by her being in this room it will help her mentally. However, the longer she is in this room with the yellow wallpaper she believes that a woman lives in the walls. She tries to help the woman get out of the wall by pulling off the paper. By the end of the story, she seems to be more mentally unstable then she was at the beginning. In addition, her feelings for the wallpaper change.
Through the poem “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud,” and the two short stories “The Birthmark” and “The Yellow Wallpaper” we are given a sense of how one term can be altered into meaning different things. Respectively, beauty represents joy, it is overlooked because of the desire for perfection, and overtime it can be scene in unattractive things.

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