What is the impact nature has on the human spirit in the poem "Freedom to Breathe" by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn?

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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According to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's "Freedom to Breathe," the impact of nature on the human spirit is one of freedom, pleasure, and survival. Solzhenitsyn asserts, based upon experience, that the greatest deprivation of imprisonment is the loss of the freedom to breathe freely while standing amidst nature's goodness, such as "air steeped in the fragrance of flowers, of moisture and freshness."

He also contends that the breathed aroma of a garden and apple tree after a rain invades his whole being with pleasure. Finally, Solzhenitsyn equates the freedom to breath apple trees after a rain with the continuance of, the survival of, the human race: "As long as there is fresh air to breathe under an apple tree after a shower, we may survive a little longer."