The Expulsion of Freedom

Freedom is an abstract force, applicable in different facets of life. “Being Free” is something America has always prided itself on since the Revolutionary War when America won independence from Great Britain. Freedom is a privilege that many individuals come to America to find. However, during the 2008 housing crisis, many Americans got a glimpse of what it was like to lose some of that freedom. Americans were financially suffocating from their mortgages that failed them as the housing market crashed. After reading A Mercy by Toni Morrison, I was able to see a different perspective of freedom; the perspective of a young girl, Florens, who was born enslaved and traded off away from her mother at a young age to work on a farm. For the purposes of this essay I will focus on Florens’ views on freedom as well as the lack of freedom Americans experienced during the housing market crash. Freedom is a privilege that can be seen clearly for some people, but not clearly for everyone. A Mercy’s emphasis on Florens noticing freedom but not having the ability to interpret it is something that has helped me to better understand how expulsion occurs and especially what happened during the 2008 housing crisis. 

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2008 Housing Crisis rejects the Freytag Pyramid structure

The 2008 housing crisis in the United States had major effects on everyone involved. After reading The Turner House by Angela Flournoy, and The Big Short by Michael Lewis I was able to see and understand two different perspectives on the housing crisis, one being the Turner family and how the housing crisis impacted them, and the other being the bankers and investors involved in causing the crisis. I don’t believe that The Turner House sheds light on what is missing from The Big Short, instead each novel offers a different perspective on the housing crisis. For the purpose of this essay, I will discuss how the housing crisis of 2008 as told through The Turner House and The Big Short is complex and does not follow the classic Freytag Pyramid structure as seen in most novels (refer to next paragraph). Instead, these two novels allow for several ‘mini Freytag Pyramids’ or individual character plot lines throughout the text. Both novels do not display an overarching resolution, similarly to the housing crisis in that there was no true resolution. 

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Swapping Power Leads to Expulsion

King Lear is a play in which many characters make decisions and take risks based on the liquid assets at stake, money and property, and attempt to swap places with other characters in order to gain liquid assets, this leads to expulsion. The concepts of swapping and liquidity are crucial in understanding the 2008 housing crisis, and the treatment of people as they have also encountered exploitation due to the decisions of others when the same liquid assets seen in King Lear, money and property, are at stake. The characters in the play treat each other as if money and property can be swapped for love and power. The swapping of these liquid assets leads to the expulsion of characters, leaving them with little to no power, money, property, or the love of their family members. 

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