Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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Identify images in "Freedom to Breathe" that relate to three different senses.

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In "Freedom to Breathe," numerous images relate to the senses of smell, taste, and hearing. These references include smell as evoked by apple blossoms, taste as associated with food, and hearing as disconnected from motorcycle.

The first-person speaker makes the point that when they are free, even mundane things that one might take for granted are enhanced. The speaker goes through a number of different kinds of sensations, most of them closely connected with specific senses, to emphasize the difference that a liberated experience makes.

In stanza 1, the speaker mentions breathing while under an apple tree. Smelling the blossom’s scent is stressed:

The sweet fragrance … pervades the air. ... The aroma invades my whole being.

Stanza 2 brings mentions of the sense of taste, both as associated with things consumed and with people. The speaker emphasizes the sensation on the lips.

No food on earth, no wine, not even a woman’s kiss is sweeter to me.

In the third stanza, sound is brought up in regard to what the speaker does not hear. They reveal that liberty allows one to tune out unpleasant sensations, even very loud things such as a motorcycle.

I cease to hear the motorcycles backfiring, the radios whining, the burble of loudspeakers.

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