In “Liberty”, Thomas Lynch uses an unconventional portrayal to represent freedom in the constraints of suburban life, John Ciardi uses humor to poke fun at same suburban life and in Edgar Allen Poe’s short story “The Cask of Amontillado” a fatal prank is played in an effort to seek revenge. These works of literature all relate in the way that the speakers must put on a false smile or swallow their pride (even if it’s only momentarily) to ultimately achieve their own since of freedom. Freedom to each speaker comes in very different forms which range from simply being able to pee outside, to sucking up ones pride just to avoid a confrontation with a neighbor, to avenging your pride against an enemy.
“Some nights I go out and piss on the front lawn as a form of freedom- Liberty from porcelain and plumbing and the Great Beyond,” the speaker in this poem conveys to the reader his way to be released from the strains of living in the suburbs. The speaker seems to be sick of the typical suburb life and what it implores. This is the speaker’s form of freedom and this is what he finds necessary to do every now and then to relieve his stress. “Why can’t you pee in concert with the most of humankind?,” his wife expressing the concern of not being in concert with everyone else in the neighborhood is exactly what the speaker is trying to get away from. The speaker needs a sense of independence and freedom from the uniformity of suburban life, which he finds in peeing on his front lawn.
John Ciardi conveys another way of obtaining freedom. Rather than admitting his neighbor’s mistake, the speaker simply sucks up his pride just to avoid an argument with his neighbor. The speaker wants to keep the peace and free himself from further interaction with his neighbor. “I have always loved dogs, but really! “shows the speakers commitment to this freedom even when his neighbor continues her complaining. To the speaker, this is the typical reaction of a suburban neighbor and like in Lynch’s “Liberty”, assimilates everyone in the neighborhood.
Edgar Allen Poe’s speaker finds a different sense in the word freedom in “The Cask of Amontialldo”. The speaker uses revenge as a way of obtaining his freedom from his former humiliation. The speaker remains anxious and finds a sense of joy in obtaining his revenge and achieves true liberation when he engraves “In pace requiescat!” as he aligns the last stone.
While each speaker in each of these works of literature achieve freedom in a different way, I found my own sense of freedom when I attended the Eucharist Adoration held at the chapel Wednesday night. I do not attend many religious events but like the Zen meditation I found this relaxing and a way to explore my inner thoughts through prayer. Similar to how the speakers in the poems and short story we read achieved their freedom, I achieved mine by simply praying and meditating for forty five minutes. For me, it is important to be with yourself every once in a while to truly feel free.