The Oxford English Dictionary defines freedom as “The state of being able to act without hindrance or restraint, liberty of action”. More often than not, people do not take the time to realize all of the freedoms in existence around the world today. Take a moment and realize the importance of freedom based upon the many struggles today and in the past for this ideal. Many major campaigns, wars, and conflicts have been driven by the conquest for freedom. The definition of freedom can be explained best using the literary concepts of description, exemplification, and negation.
Freedom is a very complicated word to define in any one way. It presents many challenges in our direction. It can be interpreted various ways because there are so many freedoms that are available to discuss and consult. If people were not allowed basic freedoms, such as freedom of speech, the world would be a drastically different place to live in. Freedom has never come easily and most likely never will for anyone or any place. People with great freedom in their lives are always proud and delighted at the achievement.
Malinowski wrote, “Freedom is a symbol which stands for a sublime and powerful ideal. The same symbol, however, may become a dangerous weapon in the hands of the enemies of freedom”. Indeed, freedom is quite powerful and when the wrong person possesses the power, it can become very limiting upon society’s basic freedoms. Bronislaw Malinowski wrote, “Freedom can be defined as the conditions necessary and sufficient for the formation of a purpose, its translation into effective action through organized cultural instrumentalities, and the full enjoyment of the results of such activity”.
It is true that many prerequisites must be met to get a freedom established. Freedom has never come easily and most likely never will for anyone or any place. Many people have to join and fight to obtain the freedom required. In the past, freedom has been thought of as “a fighting word”. In today’s society, it is considered more of “an honorific word”. People with great freedom in their lives are always proud and delighted at the achievement. Although this is something that everyone would like to forget about, freedom was fought for among our own culture.
This is definitely a defining point of freedom. The First Amendment clearly voices a great American respect toward the freedom of religion. It also prevents the government from “abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. ” Since the early history of our country, the protection of basic freedoms has been of the utmost importance to Americans.
In Langston Hughes’ poem, “Freedom,” he emphasizes the struggle to enjoy the freedoms that he knows are rightfully his. He reflects the American desire for freedom now when he says, “I do not need my freedom when I’m dead. I cannot live on tomorrow’s bread. ” He recognizes the need for freedom in its entirety without compromise or fear. I think Langston Hughes captures the essence of the American immigrants’ quest for freedom in his poem, “Freedom’s Plow.
He accurately describes American’s as arriving with nothing but dreams and building America with the hopes of finding greater freedom or freedom for the first time. He depicts how people of all backgrounds worked together for one cause: freedom. In the end, the definition of freedom boils down to being able to act with liberty and without hindrance to a certain action. We should all have our own definition of freedom that comes from our heart based upon our cultures.