Study Guide

Happy Days Freedom and Confinement

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Freedom and Confinement

Winnie's gradual burial within the ground is never explained to us, yet as Ruby Cohn once said, it provides "a new stage metaphor for the old human condition—burial in a dying earth." The feeling that life is all-consuming and that we are trapped in this world is an idea that's discussed a lot in Happy Days. After all, not to put a downer on things, but death is an inevitable part of life. The fact that Winnie is also buried in the ground means that there is (literally) no escape from how bad things are. It prompts the question: how free are we?

Questions About Freedom and Confinement

  1. Does the mound within which Winnie is buried free her or confine her?
  2. Willie has the freedom to move and leave the situation he finds himself in. What is stopping him? Is he free to do so?
  3. What role does the revolver play in Winnie and Willie's possibility for freedom?
  4. What role does the bell play in Winnie and Willie's freedom?

Chew on This

Winnie is not trapped: she can dig herself out, physically and mentally, any time she wants.

Winnie and Willie have no free will, and as a result, they have no freedom.

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