What does the narrator mean by saying that Cholly was "dangerously free"? The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

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literaturenerd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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On pages 159-160, of Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, Cholly Breedlove is described as "Dangerously free. Free to feel whatever he felt--fear, guilt, shame, love, grief, pity." While being free may seem like a good thing, those  who are free can find themselves in trouble. 

Those who are utterly free, because no one exists to question their behavior, can find that the decisions they make result in negative consequences. The quote goes on to state that Cholly has "nothing left to lose." People in this position tend to not think about their actions at all (because they really do not care what happens to them). Instead, they act without care, concern, or consequence. Whatever happens, they are willing to accept what may be. They have hit the lowest low possible, and nothing they will face from this point forward will ever matter or impact their life. 

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