In works by Thomas Lynch, John Ciardi, and Edgar Allen Poe, speakers show how different forms of human expression and interaction have many affects upon others. In “Liberty,” the speaker expresses his feelings about freedom through his actions, in “Suburban,” the speaker shows his thoughts through acts of gesture, in “The Cask of Amontillado,” the speaker displays his emotions through seeking revenge, and through Soccer Without Borders, I express my passion for helping others by volunteering. After reflecting upon these works, the most important thing to recognize is emotional expression has a great affect upon others, but it has an even greater effect upon one’s self.
In “Liberty” by Thomas Lynch, the speaker lives in the suburbs where everything seems to have some form of order and common standards. To take part from this structure of living, he enjoys the bliss of being able to ‘piss on the front lawn.’ Doing so, he is able to break free from the ‘Great Beyond’ of where all the plumbing systems connect, which acts as a metaphor for society, and this is a satisfying feeling for him. The speaker values the fact that he is able to pee where and whenever he wishes because he has the right to be able to. He respects the fact that this is a great way to let go from problems, like his ex-wife, and such liberty is important to have in one’s life. Living in the United States, we are all granted freedom so if one does not feel as though they have access to this glorious matter, one should seek ways to do so. The freedom to ‘piss on the front lawn’ is the speakers’ way of connecting back to his personal self. This form of expression allows him feel independent from what society asks of him and that is something very important to him.
“Suburban” by John Ciardi is much like “Liberty” in the sense that the speakers feel as though they are trapped within the standards of society. The speaker in this poem expresses his feelings about this idea by seeing things through a different perspective. Mr. Ciardi is kindly asked by Mrs. Friar to clean up dog droppings that have been deposited in her petunias but the fact is that he knows that it could not be from his dog but decides to clean it up for her anyway. In this suburban environment, there are nice houses with pretty petunias in the back yards where the dogs can run and play. The neighbors are the one’s to say hello to, the ones to do favors for, and in this case, the one’s to do gestures for. This poem shows that this particular lifestyle has limits because there are expectations in the way of living. Mr. Ciardi takes this situation and brings humor to it, making it a lot more calm and friendly. Instead of telling his neighbor it is not his dogs’ droppings, he picks it up and disposes of it anyway to prevent any dispute. Mr. Ciardi’s attitude and form of interaction is very tranquil and generous, and that is his way of keeping positive. Human expression is very powerful and Mr. Ciardi decided to keep his expressions to a minimum.
Very opposite to Mr. Ciardi’s form of expression, in “The Cask of Amontillado,” the narrator Montresor is utterly obsessed with resenting his enemy Fortunato. Montresor is so angry with Fortunato that he plans kill him. The situation he puts Fortunato in is a clever one, but definitely more of a selfish one. Montresor cannot seem to control his negative emotions, leading him to shameful human interaction. The story of Montresor is an example of how human emotions can easily get of out of hand and result in horrid, selfish acts.
There are many ways in which humans can express their feelings and unlike Montresor, I like helping others in any way possible. Volunteering for Soccer Without Borders is a great way for me to interact with younger children who make me smile. I love seeing the kids every week and I hope that more people can get involved with positive influences like this program does for me. The works assigned this week are great examples of how human emotion and interaction has a strong impact on everyone around. Whether one is expressing their personal opinion, their personal characteristics, their own interests or their personal resentment, interacting with others plays a very influential role in our lives.