The Search for Freedom
Within the two poems, “Liberty” by Thomas Lynch, “Suburban” by John Ciardi and Edgar Allan Poe’s short story “The Cask of Amontillado”, an underlying theme of imprisonment and a sense of being held down by some underlying force is portrayed. Each of these three pieces of literature focuses on the narrator or speaker’s search for freedom and desire to let go of some underlying idea or object that is holding them back.
Thomas Lynch’s “Liberty” beings with the lines “Some nights I go out and piss on the front lawn as a form of freedom”. He feels that he has this ability and does not need to follow the rules of society for no reason other than because he wants to. He wishes to be free and do what he wants to do when he wants to do it, even if the view that society has on him “pissing on the front lawn” is noted as unacceptable. The speaker’s ex-wife would say “‘Why can’t you pee in the concert with the most of humankind who do their business tidily indoors?’” The speaker is trying to break free from the negative views of society, which seems to be holding him back from what he wants to do.
The poem “Suburban”, by John Ciardi, focuses on the lifestyle of suburban areas and Ciardi makes more a joke of the expectations of this type of society. The speaker describes the fake and forced lifestyle that he has built his life around. Instead of being witty and sarcastic when his neighbor called to complain about his dog, he played the part of a suburban man because “why lose out on organic gold for a wise crack” (line 11). Ciardi wants to be free of this forced role of society, but finds it difficult for everyone else around him is playing along with it as well.
Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” reflects upon the freedom of one’s mind. Montresor, the narrator, seeks revenge for the “thousand injuries of Fortunato” (1062). Poe’s story is more dark and twisted compared to the other two poem read this week, but still reflects on the idea of freedom and getting rid of the things, mental or physical, that are holding one back. In this case, the continuous misfortunes that Fortunato has caused Montresor and his family push Montresor over the edge, causing him to go to extreme measures and end these misfortunes for good, and the only way to do so is to kill Fortunato.
Service is easily related to the idea of freedom and letting go what is holding one back. Often times people fear going out of their comfort zone and helping out those who live a completely different life than them, for the fear of being judged or just fearing the idea of being uncomfortable. I think that service learning forces people to no longer have this fear, and forces one to gain a new perspective on other people. Starting school at Loyola, one of the first things I was told was to be careful around York Road. I held a fear of this area from the start, but when I was given the opportunity to do service learning last year on York Road, I was able to move past this fear and opened my eyes and my mind to different perspectives of life and the different ways that people live. I think that service learning gave me the freedom to think more openly and be more accepting of different people, and no longer hold back solely because I am afraid of something I have never done before.