Essay on Okara, Duffy and Browning Concept of Freedom

1358 Words 6 Pages
Freedom is a concept open to interpretation, as is its contrast inhibition. Many poets try to express these concepts through subtle means; be it using implicit references or literary devices such as metaphors and similes. Poets seek to give form to these intangible concepts. For instance in Gabriel Okara’s ‘Once Upon a Time’ society’s expectations cause limitations on actions and force people to oppose what they are inclined to do in order to gain acceptance. Whereas freedom of understanding, which stems from the having knowledge of the world around you is portrayed in Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘War Photographer’. Both of the ways the ideas are presented in these poems are different to Robert Browning’s ‘My Last Duchess’ which shows an absence …show more content…
The sudden need for so many different personalities and demeanors may be attributed by Okara’s observations of how the Africans straightforwardness of their traditions and words, which are now laced with hidden meanings, this change which was caused by the arrival of western colonialism and modernization. Kara seems to have written “Once Upon A Time” to express his concern of western colonialism, particularly the British Empire who Nigeria was a colony of at Okara’s time eroding Ancient African tradition and Culture; in fact the poem was written as using his own observations of the British colonial rule of Nigeria, which he lived through. The idea of inhibition due to status is also presented in by Browning in ‘My Last Duchess’ the need of facades in both to pacify the society is evident throughout both poems. Another poem which is similar in this respect is Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s “Two Scavengers in a Truck, Two Beautiful People in a Mercedes”. Which highlights a façade that instead of being limited to individuals like the Browning and Okara does, it shows the reality of the American dream, which is the concept of everyone having success and ownership of wealth the fact that it is nothing more than an illusion and freedom you have is proportional to your status and wealth.

Okara shows how liberty and constraint are brought about by deceptions, which are used only when

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