In Robert Frost’s poem Mending Wall, the main theme revolves around the fact that his neighbor has put this wall between their yards claiming that “Good Fences make Good Neighbors” simply because he had heard this saying before in his life. But he doesn’t really know the exact meaning of this saying or if it is even true. The narration revolves around the question; What do we have to hide from each other? In the narrators eyes a better relationship and friendship would form if his neighbor was not boxing him out. They would be able to work together and become better neighbors as well as friends. The central theme of the poem is that we should allow others into our lives to help and contribute towards making a better community rather than fencing them out.
Jill McDonough’s Accident, Mass. Ave describes her in a car accident in Boston in which the person in front of her has backed into her car. They assume the right and reasonable thing to do would be to immediately start yelling at each other. When they see that there is no damage to the car and that their argument is going nowhere they realize; “Why is being mean to each other a natural instinct?” Their dilemma could have been solved more effectively if they were nice to each other as soon as the accident occurred. Instead, rather than checking on each other to make sure they were ok from the impact, they started fighting. The central theme of this poem makes us questions our priorities and make us realize that what is thought to be the common persons response to panic, doesn’t necessarily have to be. If we are nice and caring to each other in the beginning, it leaves no room for argument.
E.W Harper’s Learning to Read discusses the struggles of a man entering his sixties learning to read at the end of slavery. People from the north are being sent down to help the African Americans which upsets the confederate. It makes the reader wonder why there is so much hate when all these people are trying to do are better themselves. It also makes us appreciate the help we can give one another in our time of need.
Lastly Fr. Peter- Hans Kolvenbach speaks to us about the relevance of the Society of Jesus and the duty we have of “expressing love not only in words, but in deeds as well”.
All of these poems and speeches connect to each other in the aspect of that we can take a step back to love one another and connect to each other. With reference to the theme in Robert Frost poem; we must all work to mend our relations with one another and impact each other’s lives in a positive way. Like the lady in Jill McDonough’s poem said, “We were scared weren’t we?” referring to the fact that they didn’t know how to handle themselves in a panic situation without being mean to each other.
The central theme of all these poems and speeches connect to the service I did last spring in cleaning up York Road. More than a hundred Loyola students woke up early that morning to perform different task on York Road such as painting fire hydrants and sidewalks, gardening, picking up trash, and painting an old recreation center. I was assigned with the job of helping the recreation center. The idea was that fixing up the recreation center would help attract kids back and keep them away from the streets. What we did that day was “express love in deeds” rather than just words. Saying you are going to do something or saying that you love someone means something completely different than actually showing that affection through action. We realized that we could step away from our own lives, and take only 4 hours out of our day to help make someone’s entire community better. Rather than simply “fencing” ourselves out of the area of York Road, we mended our communities together to help benefit each other.
What I learned from my experience on helping to restore York Road was that it is too easy to block yourself off from your neighbor and ignore their problems, but it takes character to not have a fence between you and your neighbor so that you may provide them with assistance when needed. Good deeds should always be reflected with action and I will be looking forward to the next clean up. Contrary to the line in Roberts Frost poem, “good fences do not make good neighbors.”