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The Theme Of Removal Of Freedom In Literature

2474 words - 10 pages

Over the years, and still to this day, many prominent figures in society continues to defend the one thing every individual deserves, freedom. Part of our existence and personality is the ability to make our own choices and map out our own journeys through the stages of life. Whether we choose the right or wrong path, we learn valuable lessons either way and this is the way people should live their lives. We would all like to believe that in this day in age, we have free will, but do we really? In different cases, there are external factors that remove our freedoms slyly and as a result, our nature is altered. For example, the government system, the law and family somehow manage to use different techniques to take our freedom on how to think and act and we adapt to the human nature they make us believe in. In the novel, A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess tells a story of a violent teenager, Alex, who is sentenced to two years in prison after convicted or rape and murder. To reduce his sentence and potentially free jail space, Alex agrees to become an experiment in the new government-made rehabilitation program. During the sessions, various methods are used to strip him of all his freedoms and he is compelled to fall ill at the sight of violence. This program ultimately changes the nature of Alex and forces him to act the way the government wants him to, which potentially keeps him out of prison. In the film, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, inmates in a mental asylum are forced to conform to the ward’s routine and rules. They are given orders by the power thirsty Nurse Ratched, who runs the ward. She uses several manipulative and vicious methods to hold control over the patients and keep them in the asylum which diminishes their independence and free will. In the news article, “Child soldier’s story grips Sudbury students”, Ben Leeson writes about Michel Chikwanine’s story of being forced to become a child soldier when he was just five years old. He reminisces the physical and psychological torture the soldiers put him through until he gave up all his freedoms and surrendered himself to a violent society and behaviour. In all three texts, authoritative figures use a number of tactics to strip people of their freedom which makes them vulnerable to social conformity.
To begin with, the freedom to act as each individual wishes is taken by each authority in order to inflict change upon them. It is clear that one’s freedom to act is taken away in prison as they have to follow rules, a routine and remain intact with the law. In A Clockwork Orange, Alex is sent to a state prison, despite being a teenager. There, he is beaten and molested by the inmates and police. Alex agrees to engage in the new behaviour modification treatment so he can reduce his sentence in prison. "Very hard ethical questions are involved… You are to be made into a good boy, 6655321. Never again will you have the desire to commit acts of violence or to offend in any way...

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