Intro to Lit
Dr. Juniper Ellis
October 2, 2013
In the poems “Liberty” by Lynch, “Suburban” by Ciardi, the story, “The Cask of Amontillado” by Poe, and the play, “Henry IV Part 1” by Shakespeare, there is consistent similarity in theme. In each, there is a familiar form of rebellion or acknowledgement of freedom. Although, they all are expressed in different ways, they are all evident. It varies from freedom to do as you please, the idea of “sticking it to the man”, vengeful purpose and rebellion against a higher power, but your liberty and your freedom are not always good for you. They all relay this theme with a subtle use of dark satire or shallow comedy.
I will begin with the poem “Liberty”. In this poem by Thomas Lynch, it is depicting a man thinking about things he does in order to provide for his unsatisfied need for freedom. This freedom is the freedom to do as he pleases, as I stated. In the poem, the speaker confesses he sometimes urinates on his own front lawn. Why? Because he believes he can, as a form of liberty. Also, it is clear in the poem that his lack of care for much besides his ‘rightful privileges’ resulted in life changes. This life change is being stuck in a little suburban town alone because his wife had left him, probably because of his actions. This is the main example of the theme of freedom.
Next, there is the poem “Suburban”. Although more far fetched in this example, the theme is still existent. The freedom that I saw was the freedom to run wild. The running wild was not particularly the author’s doing, but his dog and his son. His dog runs around, just like any dog, free of punishment or fear and the ability to take a poop anywhere he pleases with never hearing feedback about it. If I could do that, I must say I’d enjoy the feeling of that kind of non-punishable right. Also, the son is free to do as he pleases with no contention from his father, the speaker. The son is “fishing” with his girlfriend, a few cases of beer and a trailer. What better example of being free is there? Being on your own is the ultimate example.
Next, there is “The Cask of Amontillado”. In this story by Poe, the freedom is a more specific type. The main character, Montresor, was insulted to the point where he felt the need to seek revenge. It is not a liberty of the law but it is a human liberty that we naturally believe we are entitled to. Everyone at some point of their life thinks there is no better solution than the old saying ‘an eye for an eye’. Montresor believes so strongly that he plans a plot for revenge, being Fortunato’s death. The fiery passion inside of him led him to believe he had the freedom to take a man’s life, thus leading to the question of his human liberties. Either way, this was a form of freedom that I saw.
Lastly, in the play I attended on campus, it was the only example where the main character didn’t exemplify the theme of freedom and rebellion. This example was most obvious. In “Henry IV Part 1”, it is broken up into two plots that crash in the end. Henry IV, in one example, is faced with a rebelling force. This force is a group of noblemen from the north. The king decided under his own free will that he didn’t need to repay them. They disagreed, and under their right to rebel, they rebelled against the king. Some will argue that rebellion is the ultimate example of extreme freedom, thus metaphorically “killing two birds with one stone when it comes to my themes.