The Many Ways To Deal With Imprisonment
Within the readings; “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allen Poe, “Liberty” by Thomas Lynch, “Suburban” by John Ciardi and Zen Meditation here on campus, the one common theme that is evident in all, is the feeling of imprisonment. Whether it is imprisonment in one’s own mind or by the government, each story depicts a character reacting or coping in their own way. Edgar Allen Poe’s work depicts a character whose vengeance for another character has grown to a point he can no longer handle, leaving him captive with the feeling of animosity. “Suburban” by John Ciardi and “Liberty” by Thomas Lynch, both show characters who feel trapped in their given societies, but portrays each characters coping with it differently. Through Zen Meditation it is possible for one to feel trapped by not talking or being able to move for the given time, but once that time is over, it makes you appreciate the freedom you have to do what you want. Feeling restrained in society or within your own mind can leave someone feeling as though they need to do something to release this hold.
“The Cask of Amontillado” written by Edgar Allen Poe, portrays an on-going, strained relationship between two characters named Fortunato and Montresor. Montresor feels constricted with his anger towards his acquaintance Fortunato, until one day when he cannot keep it in any longer. Montresor knows that there is no other way to release his anger than to just end Fortunato’s life. When we feel trapped with our emotions, it is sometimes hard to know how to control them in a way that won’t be harmful to others. In this relationship things could have been taking care of differently, but because Fortunato was unaware of the feelings Montresor had for him, things took a turn for the worst. In this case feeling captive of one’s own anger and resentment seemed to have gotten in the way of trying to make things right instead. Through family teaching Montresor was taught to act in a different way, as seen in his family motto “no one attacks me with impunity.”
Within the two poems “Liberty” and “Suburban” by Thomas Lynch and John Ciardi, the characters deal with their imprisonment in society a little different then Montresor did. “Liberty” tells a story of a character that feels as though the only way he can exercise his freedom is through the ability to pee on his own lawn. Although it may have embarrassed his ex-wife he tells her “I suppose, because I could do it anywhere, and do whenever I begin to feel encumbered,”(Lynch 13-15). The character feels trapped in the current society he is living in and to take out this feeling he resorts to doing something like peeing on his lawn to exercise his right to do what he wants. The character in the other poem “Suburban” by John Ciardi, decides to remain being a “prisoner” in the society he lives in after helping a neighbor. He comes up with a way to release the feelings he has, but in order to be a respectful neighbor he knows that he cannot say whatever he wants to. In the end helping his neighbor proved to be the right thing to do when after he is provided with fresh fertilizer for his petunias. The character sees that as a result of being a “prisoner” of his society and not rebelling or exercising his rights, helps him become a better person and provides him with other benefits as well. The two characters show different ways in which people can act when feeling trapped in the life they are living.
Zen Meditation can be compared to all the readings because of the many feelings you may experience while meditating. Sitting still and not being able to move or itch can be hard for many people and leave them feeling confined within their own minds. While meditating you are suppose to not allow yourself to think about anything but the counting of your breaths. For an hour and a half this is a hard task to accomplish, especially when you are a beginner. This imprisonment feeling suddenly goes away after much concentration of breathing and a realm of calmness seems to overcome you. Although you may feel calm, it is still a relief when it is over and you are able to move around again. It is as if you are free again, free from feeling trapped and confined to one position for an hour and a half.
The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allen Poe, “Liberty” by Thomas Lynch, “Suburban” by John Ciardi and Zen Meditation here on campus, are all perfect examples of characters feeling like prisoners of their own minds, bodies and societies. Each character handles their feelings towards this imprisonment differently, and some may argue which ways are right or wrong. No matter how the character reacts, in the end they feel as though they have done the right thing for themselves and even those around them.