Different opinions are an aspect of life that is widespread throughout the world. In “Law like Love”, W. H. Auden intends for the reader to understand that the nature of a person’s perspective is dependent on one’s surroundings, because each person has their own view of the world, causing the formation of many different ideas and inadvertently representing a freedom of speech.
Determined by physical and mental environment, an individual’s viewpoint will vary accordingly. For example, in “Law like Love” Auden writes that a carefree, out-of-doors gardener will see Law as the sun. The sun is something that is a constant component in a gardener’s life. Creating a set of rules and procedures, the sun controls plant growth and work periods, thus unintentionally asserting its power into a gardener’s life. To light- hearted, joyful children, “Law is the senses of the young”. They do not pay much attention to the responsibilities and rules of society, living in a totally different world from older adults.
Acting only when their senses tell them it is justified, children live in a world of innocence. Priests, people who spend their time in church believe that “Law is the words in my [their] priestly book”. They believe that divine intervention is integrated into every person’s life; and since rules and policies had been inscribe into their “book”, everything that “book” discloses is truth, or in other words, Law. Influenced by an individual’s surroundings, the many different perspectives people experience create a multitude of diverse ideas.
Ideas are born from the imaginations of people. When each person has their own views on life and how it works, then different ideas will be conceived in each mind, therefore creating countless unlike beliefs and opinions. W. H. Auden’s poem, “Law like Love” reveals the opinions of many different people on what Law actually is. The gardener believes it is like the sun, the scholars say Law is only composed of crimes, grandfather’s say it is the wisdom of the old, while judges insist that Law is only the Law.
Each of these individual’s live their own lives and have different morals and principles, therefore creating different opinions. Examples of political ideas being formed are “Law is our State” and “Always the loud angry crowd, Very angry and very loud, Law is We”. This shows that even if there is a current government who is creating and enforcing the Law, there will always be others who believe they can do better, hence the creation of political parties, all with different political ideologies. In addition to producing ideas, various perceptions and standpoints also help to promote freedom of opinion and speech.
Freedom to express your feelings and opinions is a privilege many individuals possess. “Although I can at least confine, Your vanity and mine, To stating timidly… Like love I say.” demonstrated that W.H Auden believed that Law was like love. He had the liberty to voice his opinions to others without fear of punishment or retribution. The other theories- “Law is our Fate”, “Law is our State”, “Law is We”, “Law is the clothes men wear”- all indicate ideas Auden had to right to share. Therefore, the sharing of different perspectives on any issue is a freedom that is constantly being promoted.
In “Law like love”, the author intended for the reader to discover that ones perspective is directly influenced by one’s surroundings and environment, and can change constantly, creating many ideas and encouraging the sharing of these ideas. An important feature of life, there will always be conflicting points of views on any matter.
Courtney from Study Moose
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