October 2, 2013
Blog Post 3
Constraint and Freedom
In the readings "Liberty" by Thomas Lynch, "Suburban" by John Ciardi and "The Cask of Amontillado" by Edgar Allan Poe there is a constant struggle with restrictions and freedom. In “Liberty”, the speaker is restricted from being free because of the social norms and rules of society. In “Suburban”, Mr. Ciardi bases his actions to his neighbor’s call according to how society expects him to react. And in “The Cask of Amontillado”, the narrator is constrained by revenge over Fortunato. All of these literary works demonstrate different ways to react to a lack of freedom in society.
In the poem "Suburban", Ciardi shows the ignorance of society through a phone call between he and his neighbor. The speaker gets a call from a neighbor named Mrs. Friar. She tells the speaker, Mr.Ciardi's, that his dog went to the bathroom on her lawn and that she wants him to pick it up. Mr.Ciardi knows that his dog could not be the dog that did it because his dog is on a camping trip with his son for the weekend. Mrs. Friar does not have any proof his dog did this but calls to blame him anyways. Mr. Ciardi does not tell her that his dog is out of town, but instead goes along with it and claims the poop. He says, “but why lose out on organic gold for a wise crack” (line 11). From this poem you can understand how the theme of social restrictions influences Mrs. Friar to call and complain about the droppings when she could have easily just picked it up herself or left it as fertilizer. Mr. Ciardi shows her ignorance through humor in this poem and, instead of embarrassing her; he goes as picks it up to put it in his own flowers.
In “Liberty”, the speaker is very open about his dislike of the senseless social rules of society that keeps him from being free. The poem is a continuous complaint about how peeing wherever and whenever he wants use to be accepted but now it’s frowned upon. He explains how conforming to society makes him feel trapped. He even talks about his ex-wife who scolded him for not using the toilet like everybody else. Whenever he can he goes outside to use the bathroom to feel liberated. Doing this separates him from society, which relieves some of the social strain he feels. This poem shows how living within the social norms of society can often times make you feel constrained and trapped, even the small things like where it is appropriate to use the restroom.
The short story "The Cask of Amontillado" the narrator’s obsession with revenge traps him and his enemy. The story begins with Montresor falsely accuses Fortunato for insulting him and speaking badly about him behind his back. This notion consumes him, and the only thing he wants to do is get back at Fortunato. This story is similar to “Suburban” because Montresor has no factual information that Fortunato did insult him but it does not stop him from seeking revenge on him. Eventually Montresor leads Fortunato down a crypt, getting him drunk along the way, chains him up to a wall, and then lays bricks in front of him until he built a wall to completely trap him down there. Montresor was so consumed in revenge that he was restricted by his selfish desires and spent all of his time and effort trying to accomplish them. He does not care about anything else. He is consumed and this keeps him from being free. The story, similar to “Suburban” shows how being so consumed in social norms and society can trap you to act blindly and accuse people of false accusations with little to no proof.
For my event I went to the Othello play in McManus. These readings are very similar to this play. Othello battled with hatred and revenge on Desdemona. Iago devised a plan to ruin Othello’s life after he did not pick him for a promotion. His goal was to convince Othello that his wife was cheating on him. Othello eventually believed Iago and ends up killing his wife because he it disgusted by how she could do that to him. Needless to say, Desdemona was forever faithful and had no idea why he was upset with her until it was too late. He loved her deeply but felt like it was his duty to kill her for her infidelity. He felt trapped and his only way to fix it was to punish her even though he had no real proof of what she did. This is similar to the readings because they all had battles with mentally feeling confined and trapped in their situation. They all had their ways of getting their freedom back, whether it was peeing outside or plotting revenge against an enemy. But, in doing this they took away the liberty of another.