Looking for novels with theme of freedom.
September 21, 2008 9:49 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for novels that have the theme of freedom running throughout.

I have to write a paper on discussing two books with the topic of freedom. Any suggestions of novels with this theme?

I'm looking for modern classic type novels. Something written between 1900 and present.
posted by hazyspring to Media & Arts (27 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Political freedom, religious freedom, personal freedom???? or does it matter?
posted by gudrun at 9:59 AM on September 21, 2008

Doesn't matter. Any kind of freedom. I'm going to pick two books, probably by different authors but maybe not, that I can connect together.
posted by hazyspring at 10:04 AM on September 21, 2008

I just read The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins that fits the bill -- it would contrast nicely with Lord of the Flies.
posted by melodykramer at 10:14 AM on September 21, 2008

It's been quite awhile since I've read it, but I know I wrote a paper once about freedom in Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison.
posted by pril at 10:15 AM on September 21, 2008

The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin

(here's a nice study guide for it)
posted by jammy at 10:15 AM on September 21, 2008

Midnight's Children
posted by peacheater at 10:23 AM on September 21, 2008

The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron
Enemies: A Love Story by Isaac Bashevis Singer
The Life and Times of Michael K. by J. M. Coetzee
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
American Desert by Percival Everett
Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:27 AM on September 21, 2008

Atlas Shrugged (no light read though).
posted by TrashyRambo at 10:40 AM on September 21, 2008

Arc D'x by Steve Erickson. It begins as an imagining of the love affair between Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings, but rockets off into other worlds fairly early on -- though the characters and ideas are consistent throughout. Violent, mindbending, tragic.
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 10:50 AM on September 21, 2008

I will make the obvious suggestion and spare others the trouble:

posted by prefpara at 10:50 AM on September 21, 2008

OH, right after I posted that, I thought of what I really want to suggest:

This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen

a holocaust memoir
posted by prefpara at 10:53 AM on September 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

On the Road
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
posted by aperture_priority at 10:58 AM on September 21, 2008

John Steinbeck's East of Eden.
posted by nasreddin at 11:09 AM on September 21, 2008

Triton, by Samuel Delany.
posted by the Real Dan at 11:10 AM on September 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

The Razor's Edge by Somerset Maugham
Davy by Edgar Pangborn
posted by prunes at 11:27 AM on September 21, 2008

Nikos Kazantzakis' Captain Michalis (alternative titles: Freedom and Death, Freedom or Death), about Cretans rising up against the despotic Ottoman occupation. It's a savage, bloody, thrilling book. It'd help to read up a little on the history of Crete and the city of Heraklion.
posted by hydrophonic at 11:48 AM on September 21, 2008

Sartre's Roads to Freedom trilogy fits the bill.
posted by Beardman at 11:50 AM on September 21, 2008

Do Stranger in a Strange Land or The Moon is a Harsh Mistress count as literature? Both deal with various types of freedom, particularly sexual and governmental freedom. Heck, I'll suggest A Handmaid's Tale while I'm at it.
posted by fiercekitten at 12:07 PM on September 21, 2008

Another obvious one .... Fahrenheit 451.

Also, graphic novels/picture books like The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sis and Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi are less obvious possibilities.
posted by gudrun at 12:18 PM on September 21, 2008

Kerouac - The Dharma Bums
posted by infinityjinx at 1:05 PM on September 21, 2008

The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino. About a young man who decides to only live in treetops.
posted by cachondeo45 at 4:54 PM on September 21, 2008

Brave New World (another obvious one).

Also, The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.
posted by cholly at 5:29 PM on September 21, 2008

He, She and It.
posted by Coventry at 6:36 PM on September 21, 2008 [1 favorite]

The Plague by Albert Camus
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 7:29 PM on September 21, 2008

Independent People by Halldor Laxness
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil by George Saunders (very short, if that's a consideration
Cannery Row by John Steinbeck


As I continue to think about it, I realize I can't readily name any novel at all that can't be construed to be about, at least in part, freedom. Read whatever you want, you'll figure it out.
posted by Darth Fedor at 12:22 PM on September 22, 2008

Thanks everyone, great ideas!
posted by hazyspring at 2:56 PM on September 22, 2008

Just two days ago I was debating between two books on what to read next. One was The Hunger Games and the other was Little Brother. I chose Little Brother and after completing it, I think it fits the bill of what you are looking for perfectly. The Hunger Games (mentioned previously in your answers) is next on my list.
posted by ezabeta at 7:36 PM on October 3, 2008

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