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Essay on The Strangers That Came To Town Analysis

What exactly is freedom? Is it the ability to think for yourself, to speak without the fear of consequences, to be able to vote in federal elections or is it something much more? Ambrose Flask attempts to unravel the true meaning of freedom in his short story “The Strangers That Came to Town. ” This story outlines the journey of the Duvitch family as they rise from the depths of oppression to obtain a sense of equality and acceptance from their society. In his short story, “The Strangers that came to Town”, Ambrose Flack is showing that true freedom is about being accepted.

First of all, the Duvitches’ dark, mysterious past helps bring a deeper meaning to their tale and highlights their longtime struggle for freedom. Additionally, their treatment from the townspeople truly exemplifies the meaning and Euphoria granted by freedom. Finally, the character development of other characters in the story shows that freedom is received when it is given. In “The Strangers That Came to Town,” it is proven that the true meaning of freedom is being accepted through the Duvitches’ dark past, the Duvitches’ treatment from the townspeople, and the character development shown from characters in the story.

In “The Strangers That Came to Town,” not much is known about the Duvitches past. However, it is mentioned that “for years before coming to America they had been on the move, to escape starvation, separation, possible assassination” (Flask 2). This introduces many possibilities as to how they lived before they moved to Syringa Street with Andy’s family. Though, when the story mentions that the family has a European past, a dark, saddening possibility emerges. Could they have been Holocaust escapees?

This would more than explain their tale; they would certainly have endured starvation, separation, and possible assassination if their family was victimized by the Holocaust. Furthermore, the story takes place during the mid to late 1900’s in America, and during this time there was a large wave of Jewish refugees. In fact, by 1952, 137,450 Jewish refugees (including close to 100,000 DPs) had settled in the United States. ” Every one of those refugees was searching for freedom in America, including the Duvitches.

Additionally, this would actually explain why the Duvitches are so antisocial during the first half of the story. They’re still traumatized by what they’ve been through, how others would resort to assassination to remove the one’s they did not accept, and they may not trust others. This explains why Mr. Duvitch emotionally breaks down when Andy’s family shows him kindness, and why his family never challenges others when they are mocked or wronged. They know they have finally found acceptance, they know they are free at last.

The Duvitches have not been accepted for years simply heading into this story, which is why the Duvitches’ dark past helps exemplify that freedom’s true meaning is being accepted by everyone around you. Upon their arrival at Syringa Street, the Duvitches are anything but accepted by the townspeople around them. The townspeople consider the Duvitches as “marked people. They were the one struggling family in a prosperous community—and poverty, amid prosperity, is often embarrassing and irritating to the prosperous” (3).

The Duvitches are mocked, insulted and discriminated against, and they are miserable because of it. They’re oppressed, and unhappy around the townspeople. However, they live in an opposite world inside their home. Instead of the prison that lies outside, “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” (14). The Duvitches love their home, and everyone inside of it. Each Duvitch accepts the other, which is why the Duvitches are free inside their house.

They continue to be free around Andy’s amily, as the Duvitches know that this family accepts them. Moreover, once the entire town has put away their differences with the Duvitches and begins to accept them, the family becomes more sociable and exposes their talents. Nathan exposes his baseball talents, David explores his skill as a musician, Manny’s dedication as a worker, all these aforementioned talents are all freed from the bottomless chasm where they have been lurking for many years. The Duvitches are only free when they are accepted, and their different receptions from the townspeople over time set this fact in stone.

At the start of “The Strangers That Came to Town,” every character, with the exception of Andy’s father, neglects the Duvitches. This neglect does not hurt only the Duvitches however, it also hurts the neglecters. First of all, Andy and Tom have a strong disdain for the Duvitches, emphasized by their heart-shattering act of poisoning the Duvitches fish. Their father’s punishment of making them catch a load of fish equal to the Duvitches helps them learn to accept the Duvitches as equals. The families are then able to befriend each other and be free around each other, proven by the dinner party the two families have.

The same goes for any punishment, the punished learns to accept what they did was wrong, and learn to freely resist opportunities to repeat their initial crime, because they have realized it was pointless, and actually enjoy the alternative more. In addition, the townspeople experience a realization similar to this as well. At first the Duvitches are neglected by everyone in the town, even the “Syringa Street young, meeting him on the street, sometimes stopped their noses as they passed him by” (3). Although, once they are allowed into their lives, the Duvitches actually make them better.

Kids have a great time playing with their kids, Manny helps a woman in a grocery store, and Mrs. Duvitch helps nurse sick townspeople. The kids playing with the Duvitches are freer to have fun, those who are ill may be nursed back to freedom, they are free because they accept and rely on the Duvitches. Freedom comes with acceptance, not only for the accepted, but granted to the acceptor as well. The Duvitches unknown past helps explain their tale, and helps the reader sympathize with their struggle for freedom. Not to mention, the way the Duvitches are treated by others shines light on the importance of acceptance.

Finally, nearly every single character in the story learns to accept the Duvitches and grow freer around them. All these exemplify that when writing “The Strangers That Came to Town,” Ambrose Flask was trying to prove that the true meaning of freedom is acceptance. Watching the Duvitches go from hated to loved was a truly enjoyable roller coaster, the transformation they made was truly touching. The next time someone who needs acceptance is around, grant it, because “freedom is eternal and infinite bliss, and we should all therefore be able to realise this. “

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