For class this week we read “Liberty” by Thomas Lynch, “Suburban” by John Ciardi, and The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe. Each of these works focuses on the idea of being trapped. The characters in “Liberty” and “Suburban” are trapped in their lives and have to live the way society thinks they should. In Poe’s story, Fortunato is literally trapped in a vault deep underground.
“Liberty” is about a man who feels trapped in the life he lives and wants to find ways to free himself of everyday life. He decides to pee outside instead of in the toilet. He also imagines other, more exciting places rather than the suburbs that he lives in. He talks about his ancestors, and how they had more freedom in the days when they were alive than he does today. He concludes by talking about how men always have a type of freedom that allows them to forget about their lives for a second and he wishes he could have the same.
“Suburban” is about a man who lives in the suburbs. One day, his neighbor calls him to tell him that his dog just pooped in her yard. The man knows it wasn’t his dog, because his dog is away with his son. Even though he knows it isn’t his responsibility, he goes to his neighbor’s house and picks it up anyway.
The Cask of Amontillado is about a man name Montresor, who seeks revenge on another man names Fortunato. Montresor takes Fortunato down into his vaults in search of Amontillado, so he can taste it. The vaults are damp and cold, so Fortunato starts coughing. The remains of Montresor’s ancestors are coming out of the walls as well. Along their journey, Montresor is constantly giving Fortunato wine, so he gets drunk. Montresor ends up tying Fortunato to a stone and locking him in the vault, and Fortunato dies.
The even I went to this week was Othello. In Othello, Othello and Desdemona elope. Another man, Rodrigo, is in love with Desdemona and would do anything to have her for himself. Since Othello’s right hand man, Iago, secretly hates Othello, he and Rodrigo devise a plan to make Othello and Desdemona get divorced. Iago tells Othello that his best friend Cassio is having an affair with Desdemona. Othello gets so mad that he decides the only way to punish Desdemona is to kill her. In the end of the play, Othello kills Desdemona even though he loves her. Then, he finds out that Desdemona never had an affair, and because he is so overcome with grief, Othello kills himself too.
When comparing the readings with Othello, I see some similarities. Othello feels he has no choice but to kill Desdemona, just like the characters in the poems have no choice but to go along with the lives they feel they have to live. Also, Othello wants to get revenge on Desdemona by killing her, just like Montresor wants to get revenge on Fortunato by killing him.