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“Freedom is the will to be responsible to ourselves. ” Friedrich Nietzsche made this statement. In my mind it means that you are not free until you can take responsibility for yourself. You do not need others help anymore is when you are free. I agree with this statement in many ways. Two good examples are seen in the books The Crucible by Arthur Miller and The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. These books both use literary elements such as characterization and theme.
Both these elements help prove why I agree with Nietzsche’s statement.
The main character of The Crucible is John Proctor. In the play he needs to make a lot of important decisions. He has a strong personality and is revered around the town as a nice and solemn man. Although most of his decisions are bad ones, he comes to realize how to make the right ones in the end. He has freed his soul by taking responsibility for himself.
The main character in The Heart of Darkness is Marlow, an introspective sailor. He is philosophical, independent minded, and generally skeptical of those around him.
He is also a master storyteller, speaks very well and is able to draw his listeners into his tale. He is for imperialism at the start of the book but soon finds out that maybe imperialism isn’t the right route. On his journey he meets a lot of white people who oppose imperialism. By the end of the book he realizes how cruel it is to imperialize innocent people so he takes responsibility for himself and stops his wrong doing.
Theme has a major impact on both books. Two themes in both The Crucible and The Heart of Darkness is hypocrisy. It is seen in The Crucible in a few ways.
One way is how the Judge Danforth wants everyone to confess to being a witch. The people don’t want to because they themselves know that they aren’t witches. But still Judge Danforth urges them to confess. At the same time Judge Danforth can’t confess something to himself; that maybe he is wrong and the girls are lying. But even though this thought passes through his head he won’t ruin his reputation so he just ignores it. That is hypocrisy and nothing but it. If he would be more responsible for himself he could free the thoughts in his head. Read also “Mass hysteria in the crucible”
In The Heart of Darkness Hypocrisy takes place too. The ideas behind Marlow’s adventures have to do with the hypocrisy. The men who work for the Company describe what they do as “trade,” and their treatment of native Africans is part of a benevolent project of “civilization. ” Kurtz, on the other hand, is open about the fact that he does not trade but rather takes ivory by force, and he describes his own treatment of the natives with the words “suppression” and “extermination”: he does not hide the fact that he rules through violence and intimidation.
His honesty leads to his downfall, as his success threatens to expose the evil practices behind European activity in Africa. Hypocrisy is one of the most important themes in this book. To stop being a hypocrite you need to be responsible for yourself and only then your free. Friedrich Nietzsche was a smart man. He had a way with words. His quote related very well to both books. I fully agree with it and have seen examples of it in everyday life. I proved why I agree with it by using both books. From reading these books and just this quote, I myself have grown as a human being.
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