Analysis Of `` Sunshine `` By Lynn Freed Essay

Analysis Of `` Sunshine `` By Lynn Freed Essay

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Violent acts in literature function as more than just physical action in that they often tell the audience something. For example, the motives and desires of the perpetrator are generally revealed during the fight. Truly great works use these violent acts to indicate a theme. One such example is “Sunshine” by Lynn Freed. In this short story, Julian de Jong, a man whose wealth allows him to evade punishment for raping children, finds a young girl in a pile of leaves. This man tames the girl with the help of his maids and earns her trust only to force himself on her at the end. De Jong and the child fight with the girl emerging as the victor. In this crucial scene, it is shown that Freed wishes to criticize the villagers’ morality in allowing the man to commit such heinous crimes. In addition, she brings up the interesting question on whether it is better to be civilized or to be wild. The confrontation between the girl and de Jong serves an important purpose as it is a commentary on the dangers of society.
One of the main reasons that Freed writes about the violent rape of the girl is to give a story on one realistic incident to show how horribly outsiders of society are treated. Near the beginning of the story, the narrator describes that “[de Jong would] be sitting in [a pool], naked, waiting for [his victims]…And then he’d rise out of the water like a sea monster and they’d make a run for it, every one of them, never minding how Grace had told them that there was no way out”(Freed 301). In contrast to the generalized stories of other victims, the account of the nameless girl makes the audience empathize with her since one understands her story and the weight of the horror of this act on her life. Through the subsequent fight be...


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...s. For instance, one can see “Sunshine” as a simple tale in which the moral is to not commit evil, but it goes deeper in that it is a commentary on society. All the villagers bow down to one wicked man and are completely under his control. However, when an outsider comes in, she is expected to conform to others. She is forced to dress like a member of that society and behave like one, too. When they expect her to fully submit to de Jong’s authority during her rape, she proves that she is not going to stand for it. She kills her oppressor with ferocity and eventually escapes the confining society while others are still trapped by it. In this, Freed demonstrates that while sticking to a group of people is what has caused the inception of civilization and the rise of mankind, people must keep a wary eye for those who take advantage of it and impose their rule on others.

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