To Be Free: The Meaning Of The Word

1158 words - 5 pages

To begin with, imagine a dark, cold, sterile room. It is filled with cages containing terrified stray animals. A small black and white puppy whimpers in a dark and musty corner cage. The puppy shivers and cries out for his mother repeatedly, only to be muted out by the roar of strained, aggressive barking and cruel, tortured growls. The revolting smells around him are foreign and abnormal, a mixture of filth in a sterile environment. Closest to him, the puppy smells the dog in the next cage. The puppy is entrenched in the sour, rancid stench of the broken dog's fear. The sickening smell penetrates him completely. The puppy is scared. He's been in this cage for nearly a week, and though he is given food and water, he is utterly alone. The puppy doesn't realize it, but his time left in his disgusting little cage is short. He is not free.
“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.” written by french novelist and playwright Albert Camus, who won the Nobel prize for literature in 1957. The word free has a countless number of definitions. Some define it in reference to control, while to others, it refers to cost. Either way, the word definitely has negative and positive connotations in today's society. Tracing the words origins, the word free has history in many languages including English, German, Romanian, and Dutch. Google retrieves over 838,000,000 songs with the word free in them and 2,580,000,000 results that include the word free. In fact, searching for something free on the internet could take you a lifetime. To be free is to be unencumbered. Freedom is the ability to do as one chooses. Free is without cost. Free can also mean a shedding of inhibitions.
As a rule, does the word free have a concrete, all encompassing meaning? No, it has several. The word is certainly ambiguous and commonplace. For instance, if you were to ask a child what the word free meant, the definition to them would probably differ greatly from the definition a former slave would give. The difference would mainly come from the strong emotions attached to the word. The child would most likely give a definition related to cost or the lack there of, and express emotions like joy and excitement at the thought of a free toy. The former slave would have much deeper and mixed emotions when defining the word free. This person would have the depth of experience and the idealism of tremendous struggle that would surprisingly outweigh the child's range of emotion concerning the meaning of the word.
Furthermore, to quote my mother, “nothing is ever really free.” She meant that everything has a price, in reference to a moral lesson, none the less, she was correct. In America today, there are massive amounts of advertising about supposedly “free products” that we are inundated with on a daily basis. Most of these advertisements turn out to be false claims, wherein to actually obtain the...

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