Wednesday, October 2, 2013

What defines Freedom?

            In this week's readings of Thomas Lynch's "Liberty", John Ciardi's "Suburban" and Edgar Allen Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado", there was a consistent theme of freedom. "Liberty" focuses on human freedom and our right to make our own decisions, while "The Cask of Amontillado" focuses on humans and our inability to obtain freedom unless dead."Suburban", however focuses on animals and their constant freedom. The idea of freedom ties into zen meditation because when we clear our minds of all our worries and responsibilities, we become free, free to wander and discover.
            Thomas Lynch's "Liberty" discusses a man who occasionally enjoys urinating on his front lawn. In society however, this is against the social norms for human beings. Humans are to use the facilities inside. The speaker goes against what is "normal" to feel free. The title "Liberty" is a shot at the government and what is actually considered "freedom." The speaker goes on to say "...I am from a fierce bloodline of men who made their water in the old way," this shows his dedication to the freedom our four father's once fought for and that it is his right to do what he wants because his ancestors were the ones to claim and settle on the land (Lynch 6-7). Freedom to him means that he will do what he want because he can.
            Edgar Allen Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" on the other hand suggests that we as humans are not free until we are dead. When we are alive we abide by all these rules that keep us "free" but we are really not free. The narrator seeks freedom through murder. Fortunato, an enemy of the narrator, attends a carnival at which he is at. The narrator entices Fortunato with Amontillado, a kind of wine. With this the narrator lures him into the basement where he leaves him to die from dehydration and starvation. The narrator feels that if Fortunato is dead he is free from his burdens and lies that Fortunato knows he told. Poe suggests that we are not free unless our problems are gone and our problems are never gone unless we are dead.
            John Ciardi's "Suburban" however does not focus on human freedom but rather on animals and their freedom. The poem talks about a dog "depositing" on a neighbors flowers. While the neighbor was angered by the situation there was nothing she could do about it. Animals unlike humans have the ability to do whatever they want when they want without repercussions.Humans on the other hand have to worry about what other people may think or how we will be punished for our actions. Animal's actions are "buried" until they reach "the glorious resurrection" however that resurrection is usually a funny story or a continuous joke. Animals do not have to worry about being judged for what they have done unlike humans.
            In Zen Meditation, when asked to clear our mind, we are to forget our worries and responsibilities. This allows our mind to become free. Free from anything that may cause us stress or pain or anything for that matter. The theme of mental and spiritual freedom ties into this weeks readings very well. While humans are not completely free to do what they want, we are free to think what we want. As long as our thoughts are not acted upon in an inappropriate manor then we are respected and revered. If the actions are frowned upon then we are frowned upon. So while we may not have complete freedom our thoughts are our own to make what we want of them. 

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