Dr. Juniper Ellis
Freedom and Expression
The three literary works by Poe, Lynch and Ciardi talk about the feeling of imprisonment and how we as humans strive for freedom. In Poe`s short story “The Cask of Amontillado” Fortunato is lured and captured in a crypt, leaving him begging for his release and his life. Lynch examines the need to break the norm and having the freedom of expression and tranquility. In Suburban by John Ciardi, the speaker talks about how he is conforming to the ideals of society, and how people are trapped in the norm of suburban life. Finally the zen meditation gave me a sense of freedom from the norm of society and allowed me to think about the obscure rules we place over ourselves. As we look at these stories and poems, we see a theme of freedom and how it effects the attitudes and reactions of the people that feel as if they are denied it.
In the “The Cask of Amontillado”, we follow the story of Montresor a man who feels he is wronged by his partner Fortunato, and who he has “vowed revenge” on for a previous insult. Montresor lures Fortunato into a crypt during a carnival and gets him drunk. While he is distracted Montresor chains Fortunato inside a tomb and starts to slowly cover the entrance, meanwhile Fortunato is pleading for his life. He demands his freedom but Montresor mocks him and leaves him to die. The significance of the event taking place at a carnival is hinted at during the beginning of the story, carnivals being a place that people are exempt of the social norms. This is one sense of freedom, while the other being the plea and begging of Fortunato for his life.
Thomas Lynch talks about liberty and the sense of freedom that small acts of disobedience bring us in his poem liberty. The speaker explains how he does not want to conform by urinating in the sewer system, and how his forefathers went “made there water in the old way, under the stars”(538). It gives us a feeling of independence and peace when we go outside, almost like a few moments of quiet that get us thru the day. I can relate to Lynch, the freedom to “pay homage to the holy trees” (538) is a feeling unlike anything else, it is rebellion and relief in one insignificant action. When reading this poem I found a deeper meaning, that freedom can be found in anything if you know where to look.
In Suburban by John Ciardi, the speaker receives a call from a distressed neighbor claiming that his dog defecated in her garden. Explain that his dog is away, the speaker still comply s with the neighbors request, thinking it is almost comical that she reacted in such an extreme way. The speaker portrays his disappointment in society, it is a typical suburban attitude to look down on a dog defecating in the wrong spot but it has always been the right of animals to go where ever they please. This is just one example of us taking freedom away from everything that is not “social acceptable”.
These stories and poems, explore the meaning of freedom and the different freedoms we are denied on a daily basis, and how unfounded many of them are. In the zen meditation session that I attended I was able to think about how freeing removing myself from the outside world was. I now see that it is because of all the restriction that we put on our selves that restrict expression. Freedom of expression is one of the most important types of freedom because it allows people to share their feelings thru more than just their voice. Freedom to live should not be limited by the ideas of the few, if an action does not hurt anyone else then it should not be taken away from the average man.