Concepts of Freedom

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Freedom can be described as the power to undertake activities, speak, or have thoughts in manner that is free and independent. Everyone yearns for freedom at all the levels of our lives, however it is not always guaranteed given that other people’s wishes have to be protected. This therefore makes it herbal for every human being to want to resist the legal guidelines and regulations in different social settings that are viewed as impediment. Freedom is no longer always guaranteed by evading the barriers which seem to impede it.
Escaping from maternal home (prison) as a teen and being on our own is not a guarantee to freedom. In The Vastness of the Dark, a young man, James, wants to get away from his home and be on his own like many other young men who have turned eighteen. To him, it feels like prison being at his maternal home at his teenage. Life at home according to him is monotonous given to the fact that he has been staying here since childhood. However, when he succeeds to run away from home, life becomes difficult and needs the support of his family which he had run away from forcing him to travel back home. Indeed, it is not a true guarantee to freedom when one runs away from home.

Going against what is forbidden in the social setting does not enable one to gain freedom. In No Name Woman, Kingston aunt is fantasized to have been tending to her appearance to attract men against what the culture required of her. Additionally, she chose to submit to the will of a rapist hoping to get away with it only to become pregnant and be rejected by the society. Her house is destroyed when it is discovered that she is pregnant out of wedlock and she is forced to give birth to her child in a pigsty. When life becomes too much unbearable, she chooses to kill herself and the child by jumping into the family well. Being considered a disgrace to the family, the family decides to pretend that she had never been born a reason her name is never mentioned. Truly, going against customs only brings disgrace instead of freedom.

Breaking from individual’s culture and choosing a different alignment makes one to lose heritage and not gain freedom. In Everyday Use by Alice Walker, Dee changes her name and aligns with her African roots. It is evident that Dee is confused between identifying oppression and aesthetic when she considers the items made by the family aesthetics instead of symbols of oppression. She seems to find contentedness only form the items and not the culture in which she finds herself. On the contrary, her mother likes to identify herself with the culture of the immediate world. Yet she cannot cut ties with her mother and sister, it is difficult to realize full freedom. This can be said as not freedom enough since these aesthetics were made within this culture she considers oppression. Surely, it is impossible to find true freedom without identifying with ones culture of origin.

In as much as freedom is an irrevocable desire to all of us, it has to be found through the adherence to the set social standards, identification with ones origin, culture, heritage and by remaining within the jurisdictions an individual finds themselves within.

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