Are people really free or are they bounded by invisible chains?  

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Gracie O'Hara eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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It really isn't a matter of our being absolutely free or a matter of being absolutely bound by "invisible chains." We do make choices in our lives but many of our choices are conditioned by our environment and social norms.

To take a fairly trivial example, in many parts of China, slurping soup or noodles and belching can be a way to show appreciation for food, but in the west it is considered extremely rude. While I know in theory that table manners are culturally contingent, the "invisible chains" of social norms instilled in me as a child...

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