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Literature has long been a vital medium for artists and authors to communicate specific issues that affect society. Divorce, racism, violence, death, and a slew of other issues are all relevant. The same drive drove Alistaire MacLeod to write "The Vastness of the Dark," a novel about a person who is deprived of their freedom and is confined to a single location. Alistaire MacLeod's story about a young man who wanted to earn his freedom demonstrates how people are opposed and constrained in their situations, as in Lilian Heker's "The Stolen Party" and Maxime Hong Kingston's "The Warrior Woman." The lack of freedom is first manifested in “The Vastness of the Dark” through the protagonist’s efforts to break out of bondage by freeing himself and desiring to go out and lead a personal life. Macleod’s narration describes a young man who is used to leading a typical life that does not feature any form of fun as he would have desired. He gets so excited when he realizes he could be free that he states, “But after today, I will probably not have to think about it anymore. For today I leave behind this grimy Cape Breton coal-mining town whose prisoner I have been for all my life” (MacLeod 365). The statement illustrates that the excitement that he was filled with knowing that he would be at liberty at long last. The book’s theme thus underscores the fact that freedom is an elusive element that is desired by many.
Lilian Heker also depicts that lack of social freedom in her book where a young girl is unaware of the discriminative nature of those she thinks are her friends. It is unfortunate that in some cases, one does not even know that they have been denied the freedom they desire. In fact, the state of living in the Stolen Party does not suggest any oppression until the day Rosaura is told to assist in handling the dishes to the guests (Heker 5). Coupled with the fact that her mother was a servant of Senora, it is apparent that the friendship between Lucianas and Rosaura was oppressive in some way. It, therefore, builds on the theme of the fact that perceived self-determination is different from the real one even though many desire to disengage themselves.
The last relevant story to describe and build on the subject of the lack of liberty is the through Kingston’s description of the No Name Woman’s experience in “The Woman Warrior.” The No Name Woman conceives an illegitimate child and is faced with trauma and kills herself. It shows that the woman was trying to free herself from the bondage that had been created by the society, which necessitated the idea of taking her life. It demonstrates the extreme conditions that people often go in an effort to realize their freedom, which sometimes has mortal consequences.
In summary, the theme of freedom has attracted wide attention as it is a challenge that many people experience either knowingly or unknowingly. The impression that one gets from the three stories is that sometimes, people even decide to sacrifice their lives in an effort to disengage themselves from an oppressive society while others never realize they are victims. The significance of the analysis is to bring into reality the problems that people face at the societal level to create awareness on the adversity of the problem.
Heker, Lilian. The Stolen Party. N.p. Print.
Kingston, Maxime Hong. The Woman Warrior. N.p. Print.
MacLeod, Alistaire. The Vastness of the Dark. N.p., 2014. Print.
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