Theodore Dalrymple's Essay: Security Over Freedom

532 Words3 Pages
To most people the word “freedom” has a positive connotation. People view it as something that everyone desires. However, Theodore Dalrymple claims that most people would choose to have security over liberty, analyzing prisoners that he sees as examples of this. Looking at the quotations he analyzes like “they experience themselves as putty in the hands of fate,” one can reach the conclusion that they feel like they have no control over their lives, making their actions no fault of their own. Dalrymple uses prisoners’ quotes as examples to back up his premises that he believes many people would exchange their liberty for security. While on the outside this may seem logical, desiring security over freedom would in fact mean giving up control, which contradicts Dalrymple’s examples of what the prisoners say they want. Using this language detail of security over liberty to contradict his examples reveals his underlying point: that people still desire their liberty, but don’t want to take…show more content…
His final sentence in his first paragraph states, “ The aim of untold millions is to be free to do exactly as they choose and for someone else to pay when things go wrong.” This is what the prisoners, and most people, really desire and that is why Dalrymple’s examples contradict his first premises. He is showing two contradicting notions through both his premises and his quotations from prisoners. People can’t have both control and security, but it’s what they want. The examples that Dalrymple uses from the prisoners he analyzed contradicts his premises that people want to exchange their liberty for security, revealing his main point: that people desire an impossible way of life. Freedom will always entail responsibility, which is why the idea of achieving freedom while bearing no responsibility for the actions one commits will always be a
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