The story mainly focuses on the tyranny and the freedom. Many people desire for the freedom just like Esme Fanshaw in this story. However, when people are bounded with tyranny for so many years, it's a challenge for them to have a new life with freedom as they don't get used to it. In other words, people can not get rid of their old life. It has been described as "a vivid picture of the loneliness of old age".