Service and Readings Analysis
“Suburban” by John Ciardi, “Liberty” by Thomas Lynch, and “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allen Poe illustrate different forms of freedom and constraint. In “Suburban”, Mr. Ciardi has to act according to societies rules for being a proper neighbor, but at the same time he makes a joke of it. In “Liberty”, the speaker is restricted during the day to the rules of society but at night he has his one outburst of freedom. And in “The Cask of Amontillado”, the narrator is bond by his to avenge his name and comes free from this constraint by walling in Mr. Fortunato. These readings illustrate different ways to react to a lack of freedom in society.
“Suburban” is poem about Mr. Ciardi reacting to Mrs. Friar accusing his dog of defecating on her petunias. Unknown to Mrs. Friar, Mr. Ciardi’s dog is in Vermont. Mr. Ciardi decides to take a “wise crack” at Mrs. Friar. Mr. Ciardi is bound by the rules of society to be a good neighbor and pick up the feces, even though they are not from his dog. In order to break from these rules and have some freedom, Mr. Ciardi plays a joke on Mrs. Friar. Although this is not a big push for freedom, it affectively gives Mr. Ciardi joy.
“Liberty” is a poem about the speaker who at night urinates on front lawns as a form of freedom. Unlike in “Suburban” and “The Cask of Amontillado”, the speaker in this poem explicitly talks about the lack of freedom in societies and especially in suburbs. To the speaker this is the one time that he can have freedom from the pressures of society, his ex-wife and from suburbs. When does so he feels as though his is back in the wilderness as his ancestors once were.
“The Cask of Amontillado” is a short poem about the narrator getting revenge on Mr. Fortunato for injuring his pride. The narrator tricks Mr. Fortunato to come down to the catacombs to taste a bottle of Amontillado wine. While down there the narrator chains Mr. Fortunato up and walls him in one of the catacombs to die. Unlike the two poems, this short story has a dark twist to how the narrator obtains his freedom; it comes at the price of another man’s life. Yet, just like in the two poems the narrator is bound by society. According to society one’s name and reputation are very important. It is because of this that the narrator is bound by society to revenge his pride and name against Mr. Fortunato.
Just like these three readings, the boys who go to Acts 4 Youth, an after school program, are bound by their neighborhoods’ and societies’ expectation for what they are to become – drug dealers, alcoholics and minimal wage workers. Just like the three main characters in these readers, these boys are breaking from societies’ expectations of them and they are trying to better themselves and their futures.