What, you're surprised? It's right there in the title, just that one word: Freedom. Big letters! Freedom! Franzen has acknowledged that the book is, at least in part, an exploration of the ways in which America's big-time fetish – freedom – affects each of us on a personal level (source). But the word itself has a wide variety of connotations, aside from the ones one might hear in a State of the Union address, or with a declaration of war. These are the freedoms the book focuses on, and we find the word speckled through the text like a bunch of Easter eggs hidden around the backyard. Ultimately we are urged to ask: What is freedom, really? Are we as free as we think we are? If not, how are we bound? If so, how can we go about choosing the best way to live?