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Acceptance Is the True Freedom

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Francesca Biondi

Acceptance is the True Freedom
Freedom can mean many different things in different people’s eyes. It can mean the freedom to express yourself without consequences, the freedom to believe in what you wish without punishment or the freedom to stand up for something that you feel is wrong without being accused. In this short story, “The Strangers that came to Town”, Ambrose Flack is showing that true freedom is about being accepted. Freedom is demonstrated through acceptance by being able to be who you are without being judged, being able to move to a country by choice and being able to put aside your differences in order to acknowledge your values. Primarily, freedom is being accepted while still being able to be yourself. Throughout the short story there were many times that the Duvitches could act like themselves without having to worry if they were going to be accepted or not. Mr. Duvitch proudly showed off his hard work and displayed his 61 fish that he caught for his family to Andy’s father knowing that he would not be judged. “Proudly, oh, so proudly, Mr. Duvitch exhibited the catch that would probably feed his family for the better part of the week” (Flack 6). Mr. Duvitch’s freedom to continue something he enjoys such as fishing allowed him to express himself the way he wanted to and allowed people to accept him for that. Mr. Duvitch also allowed himself to be the confident and happy self when surrounded by people he knew he would be accepted by. “As the host Mr. Duvitch was a man we were seeing for the first time. Overjoyed to have neighbors in his house, he was so full of himself that I was conscious of an invisible stature in him which made him seem quite as tall as

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Father” (Flack 14). As well as Mr. Duvitch, Mrs. Duvitch was accepted into the community when she displayed her true personality traits. “Mother invited Mrs. Duvitch to a tea party, where her delicate manners, and the fine needlework which engaged her, won the approval of the local housewives who were present.” (Flack 15). All it took was for her to realize that she had the freedom to express herself in a way that she wanted and that if she did she would be accepted by others. Because both of these characters were able to express themselves without being judged they had the freedom to be able to be accepted by the community.
Furthermore, freedom is also known for allowing you to be given a choice and being accepted into it. The Duvitches were able to have the freedom to make the choice to move to a different country and to a place that they were able to thrive and use their previous learnt skills to their advantage. “Proudly, oh, so proudly, Mr. Duvitch exhibited the catch that would probably feed his family for the better part of a week: a fine mess of bass, perch and sunfish, all of them alive, as far as I could see, and swimming around in the oaken washtub in which they had been dropped” (Flack 6). Because of this they were respected for their skills and accepted by others.
The Duvitches also had the freedom to move to a place that there were no other people “like them” already, but still be accepted even if it was not known from the beginning. “For the
Duvitches were immigrants and the first of their nationality to settle in our small smug town”
(Flack 1). They had the freedom to move into a community of their choice and not be rejected by their peers or country. The Duvitches also had the freedom to share their past experiences to their fellow citizens and continue to be accepted into their community. “if Mr. Duvitch was at home, he told the visitors stories about life in the old country. It was then that the neighborhood learned about the family’s European past” (Flack 16). Their stories from their old days brought useful information to the community that could be used in the future which caused the family to

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become a bigger asset to them. Their freedom to make their own choices and move into the country allowed them to use their skills to be accepted into the country.
Finally, when you are allowed to stand up for what you believe and be accepted for it freedom is achieved. Andy’s father went against the society’s views on the family and took the time to go up to the family and greet them when he saw them out fishing, which showed Mr.
Duvitch that he was accepting of them. “Tom and I, Philistines like our friends, ignored the
Duvitch boys but Father went up to Mr. Duvitch, who was fishing from the shore, and put out his hand” (Flack 5). This simple gesture showed that the Duvitches were slowly being accepted into the community. Andy’s father also saw something in the family that no one else saw. He took it upon himself to use his freedom and do what he could do to ensure that the community knew what qualities they brought to them. ““To think,” he murmured as if talking to himself, while we were crossing the street, “that they should turn out to be gentle people of cultivation and accomplishment. Looked down on and ignored by their inferiors”” (Flack 15)! He used his freedom to show the community what the family brings and taught the community how to accept them. All because of Andy’s choice to stand up for the Duvitches the rest of the community believed that if they were okay for him they were for them. This lead the community to completely accept the family for who they are. “Most of our neighbors decided that if they were good enough for a highly educated man like Father (the only college graduate on Syringa
Street), they were good enough for them” (Flack 15). True Freedom of being accepted will be created by the freedom of being able to put aside your differences.
In conclusion, true freedom is being accepted whether it is because of being able to express yourself freely, having a choice for yourself or being able to stand up for what you believe in. Therefore, Ambrose Flack’s short story “The Strangers that Came to Town” did demonstrate that true freedom is being accepted. No doubt people may have different views on

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what freedom is and will disagree but they will eventually realize that all of those beliefs will lead to being accepted whether it’s in a small community or in an entire society.

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Work Cited Flack, Ambrose.
The Stranger That Came to Town. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.


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