Last Thursday, I attended the performance of Odds Bodkin in McGuire Hall where he sang his most popular song, "The Odyssey: Belly of the Beast". One of the main themes throughout his performance was "Family". When I realized the theme that Mr. Bodkin was singing about, I immediately went right into thinking about Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Birthmark", Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper", and William Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud". Also, with all of these works of literature combined with Odds Bodkin's song, made me realize just how great I have it with my family.
First, in "The Birthmark" by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Aylmer keeps on telling Georgiana that her birthmark is very ugly after they got married. This leads to Georgiana freaking out and becoming very self-conscious about it. One night, Aylmer has a dream about surgically removing the birthmark and making himself and Georgiana happy. Georgiana then gets this dream in her head and leads to her ultimate decision of having Aylmer removing it. So, Aylmer brings Georgiana into his laboratory and gives her a potion. Georgiana drinks the potion and right before Aylmer's eyes, the birthmark goes away and she passes away. This just shows you that Aylmer would do anything for his family even if it meant giving his wife a potion removing a birthmark. I know that Georgiana passed away but before that and before giving her the potion, Aylmer had it in his mind to help and make his wife happy. He wasn't trying to kill her, rather he was trying to make himself satisfied and above all, his wife satisfied. In Odds Bodkin's singing sensation, "The Odyssey: Belly of the Beast", Odds goes into talking about Odysseus's journey back home to see his family. The whole trip back to this town is very hard just like it was very hard for Aylmer to make his potion. What got Odysseus through enduring temptations and revenge seeking Gods were his inspiration of the memories with his family and above all, love of his family. With Aylmer, it wasn't easy making that potion to remove a birthmark, but what got him through it was his inspiration of the love for his wife, Georgiana. On the whole, Odysseus and Aylmer would do anything for family.
Second, in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper", a woman is placed in a featureless space for the summer by her husband. The husband is also her doctor and in my opinion treats her wrong. It made me sick when I finished reading this story because the husband drove his own wife into the ground. By the time John got back to see his wife, she has already experienced craziness. In the song by Odds Bodkin, Odysseus is on a very hard journey to go back and see his family. He goes through craziness to see his family but what gets him through it is his love and passion for family. On the women's perspective, it is extremely hard, mentally, when a husband or child is out in the distance apart from her family knowing that conditions are not safe. With Odysseus being gone from his wife, it puts so much stress on her. Not only does she have to take care of the family, but she has to keep wondering if he, Odysseus, will ever come back. The stress that Odysseus's wife had was probably the same stress that John's wife had. John's wife experienced a different stress but in any case, it is still stress. Being apart from your lover is hard and it is tough for every family member to grasp. I do not know what I would do without my mom or dad being apart from me, knowing that they weren't safe.
Lastly, in William Wordsworth's poem "I wandered Lonely as a Cloud", Wordsworth brings up the beauty of nature and recaptures a memorable moment when Wordsworth and his sister were surrounded by the beautiful quality of nature. When I finished reading this fantastic poem, I automatically recaptured a memorable moment of mine with the family and nature together. In the summer before my last year of middle school, my family and I went to Hawaii for two weeks. Those two weeks were probably the best two weeks of my life. The moments my family and I shared were remarkable. The people we met and the places we encountered were just amazing. There was this one moment though that really made me fall in love with nature. My family and I went on a trip around the island of Maui and it was called "The Road to Hana". The town of Hana is on the other side of Maui and it is not a popular vacation destination spot. So, we went on the road that leads to Hana and it was very tough because all of these roads were on the edges of cliffs and it just took a look time because they were one ways roads. When you go on "The Road to Hana", you pass through different environments. You go through a rainforest, a dessert, farms, and then just beautiful open fields of fresh grass. It honestly was incredible and I immediately became in love when we hit the last stage with the open fields of grass. My family and I were almost done with "The Road to Hana" and we were about an hour away from our hotel. There was this amazing huge rock that we all sat on. We all wanted to take a break from the trip so we decided to pick this rock to sit on. When we were all looking out into the pacific ocean, my dad said,"You guys might not appreciate this beautiful nature, but let me tell you that God has created an amazing world and we are sitting on the capital of his beautiful world. Nature just doesn't get any better than this." Right after my dad said that, I just starred out into the pacific and I was quiet the whole last hour back to the hotel. When we arrived at the hotel my dad asked if I was ok. I told him that I really liked what he said and I really do enjoy nature and I enjoy it and appreciate it a lot more. That sight that I saw, was the best thing my two blue eyes have ever seen. I now understand the beauty of nature and the beauty of family.
In conclusion, in Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Birthmark", Charlotte Perkins Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper", William Wordsworth's "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud", and Homer's "The Odyssey", the term "Family" is a huge part of life and we, including everyone in that certain family, should never forget what it means to be loved. Family and love are the two strongest terms in the world, in my opinion. The love for your family members will never leave the mind, heart, and soul of a human being.
P.S. - This is not apart of my essay but I want you guys to check out Odds Bodkin because he was truely amazing. I have never seen anyone do what he did and it inspires me to be an actor a lot more. Here is a link to his homepage... Odds Bodkin-Home
Also, here is a map of "The Road to Hana"... Road to Hana-Map Check it out!