How Do The Writers Present Freedom?
The theme of freedom is prevalent throughout both of the texts via self finding journeys, love, education and independence. Ali smiths 2007 novel concentrates on the journey an individual must take to reach personal freedom and how our experiences polish us but do not determine our outcome. Ali Smiths writing focuses on warning against commercialism, patriarchal systems, homophobia and questioning the dominant social narratives that form social consensus.
It is inferred through smiths writings that Internal freedom is only achieved once all the normative myths and ideals are confronted, like they are by the protagonist, Anthea. Anthea challenges the hetronormativeideas of sexuality and gender in order to free her mind from the social prison it had been confined to even in the 20th century. In Fosters 1908 novel‘A room with a view’the idea of personalfreedom is explored throughout the novelusing the protagonist, Lucy Honeychurch. Lucy begins her journey as a somewhat naive British girl abroad, following social conducts set by her social comrades.
Over the course of the novel Lucy changes and transforms into a more assertive and independent young woman that disregards andchallenges the social norms in order to free other peoples mindsets. Foster uses Lucy Honeychurch to portray social enlightenment as a means of prospering and forwarding ones mind and perhaps give us a glimpse into his model society. Critic Mike Peters argues that a room with a view may seem gentle on the surface but due to its nature of commenting on social norms and consensus is “quite radical and even extreme left wing in it liberal views”. Foster was a homosexual man who lived in a backwards society, one that did not progress socially at the rate he would’ve appreciated it.
Foster grew up during the late Victorian period, a time known for its strict laws on social hierarchy, social interaction between the sexes and strict laws on courtship. It was also an era of major sexual repression and shame due to its nature of being a very conformist and normative period high with religious morale. By the time Foster was a young man leniency and freedom was slowly reaching the social norms, albeit slowly. King Edward was on the throne and strict social codes of behaviour, norms and class hierarchy were at a transformative point in British history, the change from the uptight Victorian ideals to challenging social ideals was paving way for freedom for the masses. To Forster freedom meant to challenge hard held ideas in order to create a space of discussion in order to improve the social treatment and situations. To foster freedom may have meant to be true to ones self and live their lives as authentically to themselves as they can, free from judgement, persecution and strict moral consensus that inhibits personal liberty.
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