True Freedom Is About Acceptance Shown By “The Strangers That Came To Town”

992 words - 4 pages

The definition of freedom is “the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.” (Webster online, 2017) The author represents this by writing about a family, the Duvitches, who are immigrants moving into a flourishing American community who see’s wealth in one form or another, as the ranking system for households. In his short story, “The Strangers that Came to Town”, Ambrose Flack is showing that true freedom is about being accepted. This is evident because the Duvitches did not have freedom, they could not be outside without feeling unaccepted by their neighbours, trust had to be established before the new immigrant family could express character, and the Duvitches did not feel accepted until the fish-fry with a family attempting to build new friendships.

Firstly, the Duvitches did not have freedom because they were not accepted, especially outside their home. Even when a Duvitch boy left the house to return cookware and present a gift to another family, he felt unaccepted so he felt he did not have the freedom to smile: “I answered it and there stood a pale dark-eyed boy, looking very solemn,… all of which shone, and a tiny very shapely potted rose tree, in exquisite pink-tipped bud,...” (Page 2) Furthermore, the family had experienced “starvation, separation, possible assassination” (Page 2) To add, they were so used to being in terrible situations and with the oppression from families surrounding them, it forced them to be confined to a house made of four walls which contained their only freedom. As described by the narrator: “The Duvitches’ home was their castle: sustained and animated by the security of its four walls, shut away from a world of contempt and hostility,...” (Page 14) Even the children of native homeowners treated Mr. Duvitch with oppression because his differences: “the Syringa Street young, meeting him on the street, sometimes stopped their noses as they passed him by” (Page 3) This made a father protect his family from more mistreatment, by shielding them from the public eye to avoid confrontation. Clearly, without the acceptance from neighbours there was no freedom, even the first steps outside their home was met with discrimination.

Secondly, trust had to be established before the new immigrant family could express their true character, which left people in the neighbourhood to use their imaginations to infer character. As a result the amount of trust it takes for an immigrant to genuinely trust again is immense. Andy, the narrator and his family make the first move towards a diverse and welcoming community in an attempt to build trust between neighbours. This is clear on page 2: “That was the signal for Mother to step into the kitchen. She returned swathed in her hooded raincoat, carrying a basket containing a vacuum jug of chicken soup, a baked tuna fish dish, steaming hot; a loaf of fresh bread and a chocolate cake” (Page 2) Another example is, Andy had killed the Duvitches supper for a...

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