Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Meggie Girardi
Reading Analysis 1
September 19, 2007

A common theme I have noticed throughout our readings and discussions deal with boundaries, both literal and figurative. A boundary is something that separates two things from being together. Boundaries can be both physically challenging like in Mending Wall by Robert Frost or mentally challenging like in Whale Rider by Ihimaera. In life people there are no limitations to the kind of walls people surround themselves with.

In Whale Rider Koro’s barrier was his inability to love Kahu because of her gender. Koro made a wall between him and Kahu because he was unwilling to open up and face the prejudices he had constructed. In the poem by Robert Frost Mending Wall, it shows how two people can form walls and not understand the real reason the fence was formed. The two neighbors in the poem were quarreling over who was at fault but in reality both men share equal blame. Both Whale Rider and Mending Walls make a connection that humans put up boundaries in their lives.

In life do we really know what we are walling in and what we are walling out? In some cases yes, but in other cases sometimes people put up walls so people can not see through to us. We don’t want people to know some of our past or want to keep some things private so we exclude ourselves and make boundaries where people can not cross over.

As mentioned in the class discussion I found the title Mending Wall rather ironic. Mending fences would allow the reader to assume that the fence will be fixed by the end of the poem. Mending a wall would mean that there is no more separation and two things have been united. It is also ironic that the wall is man made. The two neighbors in the poem are the source of the problem because they are responsible for putting up the wall in the first place. There would be no need to mend walls if men didn’t put them up. Nature has very few boundaries.

After reading these poems focused on boundaries, limitations, and walls I took these ideas into my observations of my life at Loyola and the city of Baltimore more seriously. The first observation I made was the boundaries that defined Loyola from the rest of the city. Loyola is set out of the city, on a nice green Quad, with beautiful campus buildings and walk ways. These attributes clearly identify Loyola as a prestigious college campus. We are not located in the heart of Baltimore with real city blocks, buildings, and people surrounding us. The inhabitants of Loyola College physically look different and act differently than the city dwellers of Baltimore. It is even quite noticeable when there are visitors on campus. Do we great them with open arms or do we give them a hard time and put up boundaries for them to stay way? Sometimes it is hard to include new people into our community but it challenges us to be more accepting of others. It is not good to stay on campus all the time. I find doing service in the city a few nights a week help me to step into the real world and meet new people. There are amazing people beyond the walls of Loyola.

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