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The Concept Of Freedom Essay

1206 words - 5 pages

While many words throughout the English language can paint a vivid image or idea, the word freedom is perhaps one of the most ambiguous. “It is defined as the following: the fact of not being controlled by subject or fate; the power of self-determination attributed to will” (“Freedom”). Its definition cannot be simplified into one dimension, and its interpretation is completely contextual. The reason that the definition from the Oxford English Dictionary was given prior, was due to its broadness; making it a more well-suited definition to describe the concept of freedom. In analyzing freedom, similar words will be discussed, freedom’s characteristics described, and examples given, in order to illustrate the word and some of its many uses.
When observing words considered synonymous with freedom, such as liberty, right, ability, privilege, unrestraint, and so forth, it can quickly be discovered that such words describe types of freedom. A person viewed as unrestrained, or having little or no constraints, could be considered free or having the most possible freedom. However, consider the following: if someone went out to vote for a particular political figure and a man put a gun to their head, telling them to vote for that same person, they are limited in your choices. Despite not being allowed to vote for any others, they retain freedom in the sense that they are allowed to carry out their initial intentions. Someone who is anomic, or whose wants are in a constant state of flux, is typically able to carry out whatever they want to do. Such a person, who has no control of their impulses, could be considered as having less freedom due to such circumstances. Based on this idea, it could be argued that someone with little to no constraints could still be considered to exist in a state lacking in or absent of freedom. Regarding rights or abilities, such ideas are subjective in the sense that one man’s right may hinder the abilities of another. Synonyms don’t always construe a strong sense of a word, especially if that word can be interpreted in a multitude of ways.
One characteristic that makes the word freedom unique is its ability to evoke a myriad of emotions. A prisoner of war may feel ecstatic when the war is over and he can finally go back home to his family; free from his oppressors. A conservative may feel outraged by the idea of abortion being legalized, but those supporting it may feel relief for women; knowing they are now free to act with their own bodies accordingly. Freedom evokes different emotions in different instances, and most words cannot achieve that to the same extent that freedom can. Another attribute associated with freedom, as illustrated before, is its versatility. Freedom can not only evoke many emotions, but can have multiple meanings. It can be representative of its synonyms is one sense and its antonyms in another. In the abortion example, the legalization of abortion could be liberating to those who support it, and...

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