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Freedom in Beloved, Secrets and Lies, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Freedom is not only a word but also an expression of emotion and identity. Freedom affects everybody on some level. It is the word that the country we live in is defined by. Everyone’s interpretation of freedom varies because everybody has experienced different levels of freedom. I define freedom as a state of mind. It is the mental or psychological ability that one has to do what one wants without feeling confined of restricted by one’s past or future. But in the society that we live in today, true and total freedom does not work. By analyzing the novel Beloved and the two movies Secrets and Lies and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, I will show how total freedom has led to the death or demise of the characters in all three of these pieces of expression.

In the society we live in many laws have been put into place to aid in ones pursuit of freedom and happiness. But laws really restrict ones total freedom. Laws provide an individual the privilege to act without restraint as long as their actions do not interfere with the equivalent rights of others. Documents like the Magna Carta, Bill of Rites, and the Code of Hammurabi are designed provide each individual the perfect equilibrium between the rites of an individual and the rites of other individuals. It is often the case, though, where some individuals don’t understand the value of laws and therefore live beyond them. These people are deemed by society to be dangerous. Characters can be seen in the literature portraying characteristics of either being free to a certain extent or being totally free from laws and the wraiths of others. Only the ones that are restrained by others and the law make …

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… She doesn’t let Denver leave the house that they live in. She makes Denver live the life of a slave because this is the only way she knows. Sethe is unable to make the transition from her past to the present. She always hangs on to a piece of the past. For this reason she is not totally free. Without total freedom Sethe is able to exist in our society. She manages to live on unlike the characters that have absolute freedom.

We have evolved to the point in history where people’s freedoms are defined by laws. People are limited to practice the freedom within the borders that society has drawn. That is why today if someone breaks a barrier he or she is punished and required to reform to boundaries of the society. In the world we live in today if one stays between the boundaries he or she will live an extensive.

Symbol and Symbolism of Water in Toni Morrison’s Beloved

The Powerful Symbol of Water in Beloved

Water. It expresses its’ power in the form of hurricanes and flash floods. It displays its gentleness, washing dirt off a child’s scabbed knee. Water has been used to quench the thirst of many longing throats; and it has been the cause of death to those who unfavorably crossed its path. It possesses the power of total destruction, yet it holds the bases of all life. Generally, water has symbolized cleanliness and renewal. In the Bible, water was used in Baptism, cleansing the soul of original sin and offering a new life in the light of God. Water in itself is a natural purifier, washing the dirt from our bodies. Water is a symbol of transition-from dirty to clean. In Beloved, Morrison uses water to introduce a transition between stages in a character’s life. Water separates one stage of a character’s life from another.

Paul D.’s escape from Alfred, Georgia was directly helped and represented by the rain that had fallen in the past weeks. Paul D. was sent to Alfred, George because he tried to kill Brandywine, his master after the schoolteacher. In Alfred, he worked on a chain gang with forty-five other captured slaves. They worked all day long with “the best hand-forged chain in Georgia” threading them together. They slept in a cell dug out of the earth. A man’s breaking point was challenged everyday. It was hell for Paul D. Then it rained. Water gave Paul D. his freedom. The rain raised the water level in the in-ground cell so they could dive, “down through the mud under the bars, blind groping,” in search of the other side (p. 110). One by one each of the forty-s…

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…d that Beloved was Sethe’s child. Sethe broke water to represent Beloved’s second birth. Sethe was now whole again. She had found the child that she had lost. The water symbolized the beginning of her life with Beloved. Sethe could now begin sharing her life with Beloved again. She could Ice-skate, take walks, or just begin to love her child again.

Beloved describes the struggle and challenge of former slaves trying to deal with an unforgettable past. Their brave journey carries them through tragic times full of torment and torture, and joyful times full of love and tenderness. Beloved teaches the lesson of never giving up. Water denotes a change for the better–from dirty to clean–where a person rebounds from life’s tragedies. It symbolizes hope and reassurance that life will improve.

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