Freedom from the three readings

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Political Science ・MLA

Freedom and its Elusiveness

 Freedom is the power of undertaking activities, speaking or having thoughts in a free and an independent manner. In our lives, every person yearns for freedom, but it is not always guaranteed because the rights of other people have to be protected. For these reasons, people tend to naturally resist the rules and regulations in different social settings that are viewed as an impediment. Therefore, one cannot always be sure of freedom just because they have evaded the obstacles that hinder them from freedom.

The Vastness of the Dark: A Lesson on Freedom

 The life of James, a young man in “The Vastness of the Dark”, can be used to explain how freedom cannot be guaranteed by avoiding the obstacles that hinder freedom. James feels like he is in prison to stay at his maternal home in his teenage. He flees his home for the city like most of the other young men who have attained eighteen years of age (MacLeod, 361). However, life in the town does not become free or fair as he had expected. All the alternatives he had for survival failed. As such he was left with only one option, to go back home to the comfort of his family. Running away from his home that he had perceived to be an obstacle to his freedom did not give him freedom. Indeed, he finds his way back home just like the prodigal son in the Bible. This is an indicator that freedom was not acquired for running away from home, a place that James had seen as an obstacle to his freedom.

No Name Woman: The Illusive Nature of Freedom

 In “No Name Woman”, we find a woman who tries to evade the freedom against the cultural expectation of the society by tending to her appearances to look attractive to men than other women in the society and get more than one man for her bed. However, her “freedom” makes her be raped, and she becomes pregnant contrary to what she had expected she would get. Life becomes too harsh on her. The disappointment she causes to her family members makes them send her away from her compound (Kingstone 326). They also burn down her house. This forces her to give birth in a pigsty. However, life becomes too much unbearable that she chooses to terminate her life and the life of her child by jumping into the family well. However, she is considered a disgrace to the family who assumes that she was never born. This explains the reason why her name is not even mentioned in the novel. This teaches that freedom is not acquired by avoiding its obstacles. The woman in the novel did not get freedom by making herself beautiful. Instead, she was raped, became pregnant, got rejected and lived a miserable life that she committed suicide.

Everyday Use: The Quest for Freedom

 The “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker can also be used in illustrating that freedom cannot be acquired by avoiding the obstacles that prevent it. In the novel, Dee makes a change in her name because of the desire to align with the roots of Africa (Waker, 699). Dee thinks that the possession of an association with the African culture and the items made by the family would free her from the oppression of the whites. However, her decision is not the choice of any of her family members. Her sister and her mother chose to align with their next culture where they were facing oppression. Despite embracing the African culture, she does not manage to attain her freedom because it becomes hard going against her mother or her sister. As such, her realization of the full freedom remains a dream.

The Path to Freedom

 Therefore, freedom can be by following the social standards that are put in place, identifying oneself with her origin, heritage or culture because it is an irrevocable desire to all of us. Besides, people must remain in the jurisdiction they find themselves so that they can get free. 

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