Breaking through the Blindness: A Fight for Freedom The three short stories we read, The Elephant in the Village of Blind, 20/20, and The Cathedral, all have many common themes with the movie The Elephant man. What intrigues me the most is the hidden underlining meaning each and every story carries. There are three prominent themes I would like to discuss, the figurative and the literal blindness of the characters in the works, enlightenment, and the freedom the characters experience throughout each individual piece. The themes also go hand in hand because one cannot learn a lesson without achieving enlightenment, and cannot free themselves if there is no blinding barrier. The one prominent similarity in all the works is the blindness
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The last theme that I think has been prominent in the works is the freedom the main characters receive towards the end. In the story, The Elephant in the Village of the blind, the Elephant is freed from the judging eyes of the villagers and actually loves the attention he receives from the people. Robert, in 20/20, is freed from his own narrow mindedness and now experiences life differently. Ruthie , in The Cathedral, experiences literal freedom during the car ride as she comes from the rural Ohio, she's never experienced anything like that and is amused by the littlest things. Similarly in the movie, The Elephant man, John Merrick is literally freed from the cage he had to live in, once everyone started accepting him, he could even go out in public freely. Freedom is never achieved easily, in all the works above the characters had to go through a period of unease and fight for it. There are many more common underlining theses that are present in these stories. I believe that the themes discussed above go hand in hand. The characters all overcame the figurative blindness, they were enlightened and acquired self actualization and freed themselves. Even though sometimes is hard to let go of your beliefs and open your mind to new things, one must find the courage to do it because that is when you can overcome the blindness and get enlightened and free your own self .