2 October 2013
Freeing One’s Self
The works of Edgar Allen Poe, Thomas Lynch and John Ciardi all involve the ideology that an individual must move beyond what binds them. In the “Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allen Poe, the narrator deceives his enemy into a catacomb where he walls him in. In Thomas Lynch’s “Liberty” the speaker frees himself from social formalities and relieves himself on his front lawn. And in John Ciardi’s “Suburban” the speaker must remove dog excrement from a neighbors lawn but does so in a sarcastic and humorous fashion.
The first of these readings is Poe’s “the Cask of Amontillado,” the narrator of the story despises this man he has come to know. The narrator states his intention at the beginning of the story in which he will enact his revenge on him. “I must be understood, that neither by word nor deed had I given cause to doubt my good-will. I continued, as was my wont, to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that me smile now was at the thought of his immolation” (Poe 1062). His friend Fortunato does not suspect a thing. He then brings him to a catacomb and proceeds to get him intoxicated and walls him in. The narrator’s action gives him a feeling of total enjoyment and self-control no longer can be found. He cannot stop himself. It was Fortunato’s own greed that did him in. The narrator gives him many opportunities to turn back but he cannot resist the expensive and rare wine.
Thomas Lynch’s “Liberty” again the speaker portrays a man that no longer has intention of following the rules and regulations of society. The poem involves a speaker urinating in his front lawn but also brings up many other aspects of how he must be free. The speaker questions why if his forefathers before him struggled why must he live in such comfort. The speaker state “The ex-wife used to say, “Why can’t you pee in concert with the most of humankind who do their business tidily indoors?”” (Lynch 538). Not only in this passage does he free himself from all the rest of humanity that likes to relieve one’s self indoors but he is no longer married to the woman who judge him for that. The speaker deliberately and the fact that he is no longer married to emphasize his freedom.
The last reading of John Ciardi’s “Suburban” the speaker is faced with the task of removing dog excrement from a neighbors petunias. The speaker sees the situation as comical; he will remove what the dog has left behind in serious yet lighthearted way. He acts as though it was a cardinal sin for his dog to, dare I say, poop in a neighbor’s flowers. The speaker states, ““The animal of it, I hope this hasn’t upset you, Mrs. Friar”” (Ciardi 512). The speaker’s sarcastic tone reinforces the notion that he is plainly messing with his neighbor, how awful it must be for his dog to
The event that I recently attended was the Commitment to Justice Lecture given by the President of Loyola, Fr. Brian Linnane. He spoke of the humanities and the Jesuit form of education that must reinforce the core values. The Jesuit ideology behind education is about freeing an individual of one practice and sculpting them to be educated in all aspects. A key idea that Fr. Linnane mentioned came in the form of an answer he gave during the Q/A, he was asked about how he and the Jesuit community felt since they must charge student for their education. It was also brought up how this was not always the case; Jesuit schools were funded by the community. He disagreed with having to charge the student as much and if times were different he wouldn’t.
In “The Cask of Amontillado” the speaker frees himself from his enemy and gets his revenge by killing him. On the lighter side Thomas Lynch’s “Liberty” gives a real life depiction of a man who no longer wants to follow the social norms and free himself from common formalities. And in “Suburban” by John Ciardi takes a sarcastic approach to a common neighborly problem. The notion of freedom can be found in many different aspects of these works. From a man killing his enemy to a man being able to pee on his front lawn. These authors show that freeing one’s self can be found in all aspects of life.
Rubenstein, Roberta, and Charles R. Larson, eds. Words of Fiction. Upper Saddle River,
Nj: Prentice Hall, 1993.1060-1066 Print.
Lynch, Thomas. “Liberty.” Poetry: An Introduction. Ed. Michael Meyer.
Boston-New York: BedFord/ St. Martins. 2013. 538. Print.
Ciardi, John. “Suburban.” .” Poetry: An Introduction. Ed. Michael Meyer.
Boston-New York: BedFord/ St. Martins. 2013. 511-512. Print.