Mr. Duvitch gains freedom through the power of acceptance by those around him. At first Mr. Duvitch has trouble being able to talk and connect with people because those around him wouldn’t talk to him and make rude remarks based on what he was wearing and because of where he worked. “ It followed that the Syringa Street young, meeting him on the street, sometimes stopped their noses as they passed him by—a form of torment all the more acute when Mr. Duvitch had to share it with the children that happened to be with him” (3). It took only one man for Mr. Duvitch to gain that freedom to become who he really was.
Andy’s father gives him the opportunity to open up and I think that’s what Mr. Duvitch needed, “ As the host Mr. Duvitch was a man we were seeing for the first time. Overjoyed to have neighbors in his house, he was so full of himself that I was conscious of an invisible stature in him which made him seem quite as tall as Father” (14). Finally, Mr. Duvitch gets that acceptance when those around him begin to look past his looks and their judgements to actually get to know him and talk to him, “People, often persuaded to accept what we accepted, to believe what we believed, began to think the Duvitches must really count, after all.
By getting the acceptance to be who he really was, Mr. Duvitch breaks through the walls of freedom. Mrs. Duvitch proves that this story is about freedom and acceptance when people are able to accept her and appreciate her for her special skills. At first, people would talk about Mrs. Duvitch and say rude things about her. Mrs. Duvitch could never really feel accepted when people were constantly talking about her and making assumptions about her which is why she too
never really had contact with anyone, “But this gave rise to the rumor that she was the victim of an obscure skin disease and that every morning she shook scales out of the bed sheet” (3). When someone gives you reassurance that what you’re doing is okay and become engaged and interested in what you’re saying that allows you to open up and feel accepted which is what happened with Mrs. Duvitch when Andy’s family went over for dinner, “Saying very little, he managed to make us feel a great deal and he constantly sought his wife’s eyes with glances of delight over the wonder of what was happening” (14). Mrs.
Duvitch is finally accepted into her community when others see that she has much more to offer them then they had thought. Her special nursing skills became very important to her community, “The community presently had reason to be grateful for Mrs. Duvitch’s presence. It turned out that she had a great gift for nursing, and no fear of death, no fear of disease, contagious or otherwise. ” (16). Her acceptance into the community shows that this story is about freedom. The Duvitch children are very shy and quiet at first probably because they never really had the chance to be who they were with negative and judgemental people surrounding them.
At first no one really talks to them and they make judgements on them based on what they wear and eat, “some of their classmates scoffed at the leaf, lard and black bread sandwiches they ate for lunch, huddled in one corner of the recreation room, dressed in their boiled-out ragpickers’ clothes. ” (4). Andy’s family brings those kids a freedom to be who they want, to be happy and to enjoy themselves on the night the two families shared a dinner. “I couldn’t believe they were the same timid downcast youngsters one met on the street and saw in school; they seemed to have been touched by a wand” (14).
The other kids around the community begin to give the Duvitch family a chance, and begin to include them in their activities, “… and it wasn’t long before the young Duvitches were able to enjoy outside companionship when they found time to play. ”(16). The Duvitch family shows that this story is about freedom and how freedom is gained by acceptance. Mr. Duvitch becomes accepted when people look beyond his looks, Mrs. Duvitch gains acceptance and appreciation for her special skills and the Duvitch kids all become accepted into the community by being apart of activities that the other children take part in.