Free Love and Other Stories

Ambiguity of Homosexuality in “Free Love” by Ali Smith and “Mr. and Mrs. Elliot” by Ernest Hemingway College

In Ali Smith’s “Free Love” while traveling abroad in Amsterdam, a teenage girl is able to explore something she has never been capable of before, her sexual orientation. Whereas, in Ernest Hemingway’s “Mr. and Mrs. Elliot”, to society Cornelia and Hubert seem to be happily married, however behind closed doors Cornelia is able to express her true sexual identity. Both Smith and Hemingway exemplify this theme through the social un-acceptance of homosexuality in the 20th century, the inability to display one’s sexual preference, and being non-conformant to gender roles.

Within the past 25 years, the gay rights movement has made tremendous efforts in promoting “human rights and fight discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons”(Levy. Web). Throughout a majority of the 20th-century, people feared for their lives, due to the repercussions associated with coming out. In “Free Love”, the narrator goes from being in Amsterdam where she can be open in her relationship with Jackie, “we were kissing in the middle of Amsterdam and nobody even noticing”(Smith, 7). To going back home and not even being able to hold hands with someone of the same-sex. “But then, what people think is sordid is relative after all;...

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