escaping to some wild west

Everyone has an opinion about freedom these days, it seems.  Those who screech loudest about it are compensating for something, we begin to wonder.

Here is a view of freedom by the novelist D. H. Lawrence.  He sees true freedom in a movement inward:  religious belief and community.  He doesn’t see it in outward displays from the class that claims freedom loudest: the frontierman, lone wolf, claim staker.

Freedom for him, comes by obedience and not by escape:

“Men are free when they are obeying some deep, inward voice of religious belief. Obeying from within. Men are free when they belong to a living, organic, believing community, active in fulfilling some unfulfilled, perhaps unrealized purpose. Not when they are escaping to some wild west. The most unfree souls go west, and shout of freedom.”

D.H. LawrenceStudies in Classic American Literature


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