The Definition of Freedom Essay

The Definition of Freedom Essay

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What is freedom? Freedom can be defined in multiple forms. The dictionary would define freedom as being free from confinement. However, it is more than that. Freedom is defined as not only free from confinement, but also as being free from oppression and the life that you would normally live beforehand. Two examples of freedom are defined in both Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, and On the Rainy River from the compilation of short stories called The Things They Carried from Tim O’Brien.
Metamorphosis is about a story of Gregor Samsa. Samsa is a commercial traveler and the primary breadwinner of the house as he is the main source of income for his entire family, consisting of his parents and his sister. Samsa is also a hard working man, never missing work for the past five years and always showing up on time. One night, his life completely turns upside down when he wakes up one morning to discover that he had transformed into a cockroach. When he first woke up, his thought was “I’d better get up since my train goes at five” (Kafka, 90). Once he got up, Samsa was in complete shock since the clock showed “half past six o-clock” and wondered if the alarm clock did not go off. Samsa was worried that if he did not show up to work, his boss would question his absence since Gregor did not took absence once during his five years of work. During his life as a human, Gregor’s life was basically going to work at the office, traveling, “worrying about train connections”, and saving money to pay back his parents debt which, according to Samsa, would “take another five to six years” (p.90). This implies that throughout his life, it only consisted of work and providing money for his family without having a social life of his own. Once he turned int...


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...perspectives. From Samsa’s perspective, it was his freedom of living a life where he was living a mundane routine. From O’Brien’s perspective, it was him making a decision on whether to fight for freedom or go to exile. Even though the two stories are different, there is one common theme and that theme is entrapment. Samsa was physically entrapped because his family confined him to stay in his room and if he did not obey the orders, he would have been punished. O’Brien was emotionally entrapped because he chose to isolate himself from having a social life and go far away from his home to make a decision. If he did not have a battle with his emotions throughout the story, he would not be entrapped at all.



Works Cited
Kafka, Franz. Metamorphosis. Ed. Nahum N. Glatzer. New York: Schocken, 1971. Print.
O'Brien, Tim. On the Rainy River. New York: Penguin, 1990. Print.

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