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Freedom
Freedom
by Jonathan Franzen

Freedom Analysis

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Symbol: BirdsLet's just go ahead and say this straight up: in this book, birds represent freedom. Is it a coincidence that a book called Freedom is based around a small blue bird that migrates betw...

Setting

The US, mostly in the early 2000sSt. Paul, Minnesota: early 1980s – 2001; outside Grand Rapids, Minnesota: early 1980s – 2010; Hibbing, Minnesota: 1900 – 1980; Westchester County, New York: 1...

Narrator Point of View

Third Person (Limited Omniscient)Our story is presented from a number of different angles, each subtly shifting our perspective (that is, restricting or enhancing freedom), so that we can only asse...

Genre

Family Drama, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Philosophical FictionFreedom is, above all, a portrait of a dysfunctional family, the Berglunds. So there's no doubt it's a family drama. We can...

What's Up With the Title?

We get the feeling that Jonathan Franzen, when he started thinking about writing this book, might have sat down and asked himself, "What one word describes the first decade of the 2000s?" The word...

What's Up With the Epigraph?

Go together,You precious winners all; your exultationPartake to everyone. I, an old turtle,Will wing me to some withered bough, and thereMy mate, that's never to be found again,Lament till I am los...

What's Up With the Ending?

Well, it's your classic Jane Austin ending, folks: everyone gets married! OK, no, that's not exactly true. The modern variation looks like something more like this: Walter and Patty get back togeth...

Tough-o-Meter

(5) Tree LineFreedom isn't the easiest read, but not for the reasons you might expect. The language is straightforward (sure, with the occasional big vocabulary word thrown in); the dialogue is so...

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