In the poems, “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost, “Accident, Mass. Ave” by Jill McDonough, “Learning to Read” by E. W. Harper, “The Service of Faith and Promotion of Justice in Jesuit Higher Education” by Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, and “Flushboy” by Stephen Graham Jones, there is an underlying theme of justice. Justice is the quality of being right, fair, and reasonable. Justice can range from getting into a car accident to arguing over a wall. Stephen Graham Jones has justice in the vast amount of books he has published. In his newest book, “Flushboy”, the man character has to deal with an injustice regarding the urine mafia. The urine mafia does not sound connected to our Jesuit ideals but surprisingly it is. The poems mentioned above along with Shephen Graham Jones’s book, “Flushboy” all have thematic references to justice.
Since justice is the quality of being reasonable, Robert Frost’s, “Mending Wall” is certainly relevant. In the “Mending Wall”, two neighbors discuss the removal of a wall that separates their property. The man who wishes to tear the wall down wants the other man to be reasonable since there are no cows to be contained in the properties. The unreasonable neighbor committed an injustice by simply not being open-minded to a new idea. In Jill McDonough’s, “Accident, Mass. Ave”, a more tangible injustice occurs. A woman backs her car into someone else’s. At first, both people are yelling and screaming about such an injustice occurring. Though soon they realize that there is no damage and so there is no need to report or worry about anything. The injustice occurred when the woman’s car hit the other person’s car but with no damage there is no reason to take action on such an injustice. Actually, an injustice would have occurred if they had reported because it would be unreasonable to report an accident with no damage. In E. W. Harper’s “Learning to Read”, the question of justice is also quite tangible. In this poem, slave owners would not allow their slaves to read any books. One of the lines in this poem reads, “But some of us would try to steal a little from the book” in this line it sounds as if the slaves are committing an injustice. So there is injustice in the slave owners not allowing the slaves to learn how to read and the slaves stealing words from books. In Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach’s, “The Service of Faith and Promotion of Justice in Jesuit Higher Education”, Fr. Kolvenbach writes about the “promotion of justice”. The “promotion of justice” means that we should not only strive to take action towards justice but get others involved as well. The “promotion of justice” is not a familiar topic with lots of people and needs to become more commonplace.
Stephen Graham Jones, the author that spoke at Loyola this Wednesday, has written many books on a wide range of topics. He has written books about zombies, demons, and his own life experiences. Stephen Graham Jones is quite an open book, pun intended. He is definitely an interesting character that was not afraid to tell embarrassing and extremely funny stories. His eccentric style and behavior shines through his newest book, “Flushboy”. “Flushboy” does not sound like the most serious book in the world but it has connections to justice. The main character works at his father’s drive-thru urinal. The injustice appears in the form of a urine mafia that the main character must deal with.In all these poems, justice is an underlying theme. Though it may not be the main them in some of these poems and stories but its certainly relevant. Justice is also a Jesuit ideal in which Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach does not only emphasis the need to take action but the “promotion of justice”. Justice does not exist only in a court of law but in everyday life. It could be a car accident or people hundreds of years ago learning to read. Either way justice is the quality of being fair, right, and reasonable. How just have you been today?