Freedom, Empathy, Compassion

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Diana Martin Freedom, Empathy, Compassion It is said that one who has not experienced the feeling of love in their lives has not lived life at all. Yet what is love? Many define love an ungovernable carnal passion, or simply a fiery desire for intimacy. The abstract idea of love however can be taken much further. Out of the romantic mindset, love can be perceived as infinite tolerance, dedication, and even admiration. Love does not only have to expressed towards a person, and this idea is seen in “Sonny’s Blues”, “Story of an hour”, and “Cathedral”. Love for both art and freedom, and their ability to cause personal growth encompasses the characters in these stories, changing their very reality. “Sonny’s Blues” is probably the most explicit story as it explores the theme of love; however love is seen through a different window. There is brotherly love, love for art, and love through compassion. Ironically, the narrator learns to love art through misery as he sees his brother pour his pain and suffering into his music. “I was remembering, and it made it hard to catch my breath, that I had been there when he was born; and I had heard the first words he had ever spoken. When he started to walk, he walked from our mother straight to me. I caught him just before he fell when he took the first steps he ever took in this world.” (5) It is this greater than sibling connection between the narrator and Sonny which causes the narrator to care for Sonny almost like a father. As Sonny suffers, the narrator feels this suffering however he cannot process this pain until the end of the story when he finally hears Sonny play. Towards the end of the story we see both love through empathy as well as the constant symbolism of light. It is this light which provides a sense of salvation, comfort, and spiritual love, almost comparable to the moment when Jesus is resurrected and
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