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Sydney-Morgan Arthur Block 1 Mrs. Washburn 11/1/10 Freedom of Expression How do you express yourself? Through workplace, actions, speech, or some other ways? Whichever way is chosen, are there limitations and restrictions? Or are the possibilities endless? Whichever category one falls under, this means that they too have some form of freedom, but also their own share of oppression. Everyone does, just in different amounts. When people usually think about freedom of expression, they typically think about freedom of speech in the First Amendment, or something else having to do with politics. Often memories of their past history classes come to mind. When looking in the Websters Dictionary, it doesnt give an exact definition. Freedom means being free, and being able to act, use, etc. freely. Expression is a showing of feeling, character, etc. Putting the two definitions together gives the definition of being able to freely show character and feeling. But as many may have guessed, this definition does not hit the idea directly on the mark, but it is still a pretty good one. There are still many unclear things about it. My own personal definition of freedom of expression is many things. Mostly the expression of an individuals imagination and creativity is shown both individually and publically. But used in a political sense, I still believe that it is the First Amendment. Freedom of expression is not just saying what you want, when you want. It is individuality, creativity, democracy, independence, and uniqueness.

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One key aspect to freedom of expression is creativity. In other words, freedom of expression is seen every day, everywhere in landscape, architecture, and even on people. If someone goes to a neighborhood, the majority of the time, houses and lawns are not similar. They may have similar aspects to them such as plants, flowers, brick, roofs, etc. However, a persons house reflects their personality, whatever that may be. It is also showing a part of their inner selves. Take the movie Edward Scissorhands for example. Everyone in their neighborhood had the exact same house, the exact same distance apart, the exact same color patterns, and was just so close-knit and boring. Edward was different. He brought individuality and uniqueness into their lives, and because of that, he was ostracized. Workplaces are another way to show freedom of expression and creativity. Take architects for example. There are many buildings that are different than the average skyscrapers. One man had the idea to make a museum dedicated to the history of photography, and made the building in the shape of a camera. In Japan, there is a building that was made to look like a huge glass pyramid. These are ways that those people express themselves. They design buildings that are appealing to look at, and unique. My favorite part of freedom of expression that I see every day, especially in teenagers, is shown in clothing and signs. For example, shirts with witty sayings on them, color choices, patterns, graffiti, and hairstyles are all included. I say that Freedom of expression is an endless whiteboard filled with quotes, drawings, and ideas. It reflects the persons true self. Unlimited, but restricted. Style choice is fun to experiment with, and appealing to many. However; schools try to restrict these choices. Private schools enforce uniform regulations. Public schools are less strict on that idea, and allow students and teachers to express their individuality as long as it satisfies the required dress code. This is another form of freedom of expression and oppression.

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Politically, freedom of expression is a completely different idea. To some it is the First Amendment, but to others its not completely that. The First Amendment states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." In simpler words, this means that the public should not be denied their right to show their thoughts, opinions, and feelings about various topics in public or even in the newspapers. Also, this amendment gives the people the right to be able to hold a civil protest against something they do not agree with. This usually causes conflicting arguments on both sides of the issue. As Voltaire said, I disapprove what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. This quote means that even though the person does not agree with the other persons opinion, they are willing to fight to the death for their freedom to say it. Freedom of expression is freely showing an individuals thoughts, opinions, ideas, and creativity. People are able to accomplish this in their jobs by showing their creativity and coming up with new ideas for the companys products. It is also shown in both the internal and external design of peoples houses. A person can better relax in their home when the atmosphere is suited to their personal specifications. Creativity in dress expresses publically to others the inner thoughts of an individual. Freedom of expression is something worth fighting for. Without it, the world would be plain, bland, and boring.