October 3, 2013
Freedom of Being
The literary works “Liberty” by Thomas Lynch, “Suburban” by John Ciardi and “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allen Poe all focus on the sense of freedom the characters feel, whether it may be good or bad. In the poems and short story, a characters freedom is restricted by another’s assumptions. The poems of Lynch and Ciardi centers on a comical side of freedom, while the Edgar Allen Poe’s short story centers on a darker side of freedom. A connection was made with these pieces in another session of Zen Meditation because we are able to free the mind from the stress and pressures of society.
Thomas Lynch takes a humorous approach in his poem “Liberty.” In this poem, the speaker expresses his freedom in a way many people may think of as unusual. He describes his sense of freedom by being able to urinate “anywhere” whenever he feels “encumbered.” He also feels he is able to get away from the “porcelain and plumbing and the Great Beyond beyond the toilet and the sewage works,” (3-4) and feels a sense of relief while doing so. The speaker believes he gains a sense of freedom when he urinates on the lawn because he let’s go of all the issues that may be holding him back.
“Suburban” by John Ciardi provides another humorous approach towards freedom. In the poem, Mrs. Friar, phones Mr. Ciardi, her neighbor, saying that his dog “deposited – forgive me – a large repulsive object in my petunias,” (5) although Mr. Ciardi’s dog was in Vermont with his son. Instead of arguing with Mrs. Friar, Mr. Ciardi picks up after the dog who left “a large repulsive object” in her yard. Mr. Ciardi seems to be a man who enjoys his life while being able to avoid conflicts with others. He believes that he should not let the small problems effect the way he lives.
Edgar Allen Poe, on the other hand, takes a darker approach of freedom in his short story “ The Cask of Amontillado.” In the short story, the narrator, Montresor, has no restriction on freedom. Montresor expresses to seek revenge on Fortunato after feeling highly insulted by him. When Fortunato is intoxicated, Montresor lures him into a wine cellar in order to murder him and the only kind words from Montresor are rest in peace. Montresor is greatly twisted is too free in his thoughts. He reaches a level of insanity since there was no restriction on his freedom.
When comparing these readings to the Zen Meditation session, there were immediate similarities between them. The three literary works focuses on the idea of just and self-determination through different ideas. During meditation, we take the time out of our busy schedules and are able to be free by learning to connect with ourselves through the soul. We are also able to be at peace with our own life and the world around us, and live a much more enjoyable life. Through meditation, we realize how our thoughts are improved on how we respond to those around us. When asked to clear our minds, we forget about the conflicts and responsibilities we have throughout the day. Although we may not have complete freedom in the world, we are able to think freely.