Freedom of Man
In the society, the concept of freedom can mean many things. It can be perceived depending on what level of understanding it requires. For instance, freedom, in its pure sense, can signify man’s free will. It can also be the actual opposite of imprisonment. Freedom differs in meaning depending on what context it exists in.
The concept of free will is very philosophical. It talks about the nature of man in society to be an individual who can freely decide on what they want to do in the society without their morals interfering. For some philosophers, free will would always be grounded on how an individual views and functions in the society. For existentialists, free will is not a matter of freedom but rather, an illusion that we have control over the choices we make when in fact, we decide based on the dynamics of the society which we are part of.
Freedom and Imprisonment
This dichotomy can be seen in Dostoevsky’s famous novel Crime and Punishment where the protagonist struggles with the idea of actual and metaphorical freedom. As he gets away with the crime he does, keeping him free—he ends up feeling imprisoned by his consciousness more than his conscience. This shows that freedom is experienced in many ways. It’s not limited to being actually in prison, it can be experienced through our consciousness depending on the situations we take part in. Crime and Punishment also showcases how freedom would always be in line with our morals. The main character feels trapped unsure of how since he does not feel remorse. This kind of imprisonment can also be felt in so many ways especially in the society and we cannot escape the fact that this is urged by our moral standards.
Freedom of Man
For many, freedom can also be perceived as a social construct. It is something that everyone tries to achieve in a society that has boundaries that make it hard for people to act on their own accord. For marginalized societies and communities, freedom is something that needs to be achieved in order to be emancipated in the society. This can be rooted to the experience of African Americans as slaves in America. They were treated as non-humans and made to work for humans who supposedly had better positions in the society over them. Eventually, these slaves were freed—they were no longer slaves but they still experienced oppression up to this day. Freedom can never be absolute—it can only be achieved in parts. As long as the society is filled with oppressive forces, freedom can never be experienced fully for there are still factors in the society that stop us from getting freedom.
In the society, marginalized individuals like members of the LGBT community, indigenous peoples, and people living in poverty are clamoring for freedom. This is because they are not being given the proper voice to be able to actively participate in the society. Their marginalization results in their rights being stepped on. They ask for freedom because it is the only answer to the oppression they are experiencing yet admittedly, that is not something that is easy to achieve. Self-determination can be equated to freedom and people try so hard to achieve a voice that can help in giving them their identity to the society.
It is true that achieving freedom is a struggle. For those who are privileged in the society, they might experience a sense of freedom because the resources that they have let them do anything they can, at their disposal. In the current state of the society, it is safe to say that freedom is experienced only be a select few.