Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Necessity of Freedom

       Often times in literature authors express the value of freedom in society to help maintain one's sanity, health, happiness and life.  In "The Birthmark" a man criticizes his wife for a small blemish on her otherwise flawless appearance ultimately leading to her self loathing and tragedy.  In "the Yellow Wallpaper" a doctor confines his wife to a single room leading her to believe that she was sick leading to insanity and craziness.  In "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" the speaker describes his enjoyment of freedom in nature and the joy it brings him in the most mellow of times.  In the story told by Mr. Odds Bodkin, the people in ancient Greece lacked the freedom to act against a higher power resulting in the downfall of many.  The works of Hawthorne, Gilman, Wordsworth, and Bodkin show the necessity of freedom in society and how a life without freedom is not a life at all.
        In "The Birthmark" the main character Georgiana is married to a man named Aylmer.  Georgiana is extremely beautiful but she has one small hand shaped blemish on her cheek.  Aylmer constantly suggests for her to have it removed, but initially she says, "Many call it a charm and I see it as so." this constant criticism rids Georgiana the ability to think for herself.  She begins to hate herself for one reason, having a birthmark that is unpleasant to the eye of her lover.  Ultimately she agrees to go to the lab to get it removed.  She is given a concoction that removes her birthmark but kills her in the process.  Her last words to her husband were, "you have aimed loftily, done nobly. Do not repent such high feeling. You have rejected the best the earth had to offer."  Georgiana lost the freedom to her own opinion.  Her mind was poisoned by the vanity of her husband and it forced her to believe in all her flaws no matter how small.
        In "Yellow Wallpaper"a woman and her husband John move into a big home for the summer.  John is a doctor who makes all the decisions for his wife, convincing her that she is very sick and confining her to one room of the manor.  No matter what she does,  John forces her to stay in bed and keep taking the medication that will get her better.  Over time she begins to loathe the wallpaper in the room and see different things in the walls.  She hollucinates and begins to see a woman trapped inside the wallpaper.  This is symbolic because the woman she saw was a reflection of herself.  Her husband took her freedom and thought for her, confined her to one room, ultimately driving her to insanity.  She is lead to thinking that she must release the woman trapped in the wall.  At the end of the story she is removing the paper from the wall as her husband walks in.  She states that she is now "free" as her husband passes out.  She finally achieved the freedom she desired from the beginning of the story.
        In "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" the speaker describes an afternoon strolling in nature.  He observes a "crowd of daffodils" dancing back and forth in the wind.  He keeps describing the certain joy that the daffodils give him as they flutter happily in the breeze.  The beauty and freedom in nature causes him extreme joy.  In the forth stanza the speaker says that as he sat on the couch he was in a "vacant and pensive mood."  He then thinks of the daffodils and his "heart fills with pleasure."  This poem shows the importance of how with freedom comes the ability to observe beauty in the smallest and simplest of things.
        In the story of the Illiad told by Odds Bodkin, the pretense to the battle of Troy is described through the eyes of the Greek leaders Menalaus, Achilles, Odyseus and many others.  As the great warrior Achilles had a disagreement with the army leader Menalaus he threatened to leave and not fight for the army just to spite the general for his poor decisions and her cold heart.  When Achilles tries to murder him for insulting his character, he is stopped by Hera the goddess from Olympus that controls him and says that Menalaus is too important to the war.  The greeks were to concerned with the belief that the gods had to be pleased.  Achilles did not have the freedom to leave the army nor overthrow Menalaus.  This eventually leads to the death of Achilles in battle, showing that his freedom would have helped avoid his downfall.

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