Write a critical analysis of  "Freedom to the Slave" by Derozio.

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In "Freedom to the Slave," Henry Derozio explores the feelings that a man experiences upon learning he is no longer enslaved, and then praises Freedom itself. The poet uses a regular rhyme scheme of ABCB, DEFE, continuing with the 2nd and 4th lines rhyming, but changing every four lines. The joyful sensations the speaker describes associate the man with the natural world, thus conveying that freedom is the natural state of humans. These “noblest feelings of the soul” include pride and exultation. Key aspects of the natural world are the “winds,” “wild birds,” and the “running stream” that “floods.” The spiritual aspect of freedom is conveyed through the “breath of heaven” (wind) that blows on this man. 73 Knowing that he is free, the man smiles, looks up to heaven and down toward the stream, and realizes his kinship with all the environment. This realization makes him cry out, “I’m free as they!”

In the second part, the poet marks a switch by using apostrophe, addressing Freedom directly. The speaker returns to the spiritual significance, referring to the “flame” that “lights the altar of the soul.” The speaker also praises the sacrifices made by patriots who fight for freedom, with their “sword unsheathed” and their bleeding breasts. Finally, praise is extended to the “generous hand” that breaks the chains of slavery that were attached by a “tyrant.” The last lines connect back to the first four lines, link the one who gave the freedom with the freed slave by using the same words or close variants, along with alliteration using F: “slave,” (repeated), “felt” and “feeling,” “free” and “freedom.”

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Derozio once described his native and beloved India as "an eagle with its wings tied."  One way to critically analyze "Freedom to the Slave" is to see it as untying the wings of the eagle.  Derozio's poem is predicated on the idea that freedom is its own intrinsic good, an experience that cannot be replicated.  No matter how one might be compensated, the reality is that freedom is its own reward.  To be in a condition where one "knelt no more" and to look "above – The breath of heaven /Around him freshly blew" are experiences where the true notion of self are experienced.  Derozio presents freedom as its own good, something with its own intrinsic value.  To experience the same freedom as "winds and birds,and floods," is a reality that no one can duplicate or replicate in any other setting.

The patriotism that Derozio emphasizes throughout his work for India and the human predicament is seen in this poem.  Enslavement and limitation, what Derozio refers to as "the chain a tyrant gave,"  is not any way to live.  While freedom might be complex and intricate with all that must be navigated, it is shown to be an essential part of the human experience.  Humanity is shown to gain more dignity when there is freedom in one's life.  It is in this light where freedom and autonomy are essential to the poem and its overall message of how it is essential to defining one's happiness.  Through such a rendering, the wings of the eagle are no longer tied as individuals possess more in their being due to freedom.

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