The myth of a classless American society coupled with social stratification impedes racerelations in the U.S.
far more than any racial differences. The never ending struggle of thehave-nots to become one of the haves produces a frustration and feeling of oppressionthat acts as a catalyst for spawning racial tensions. Minorities see the majority of wealth inthe hands of the white population and feel that the wealth is unevenly distributed. Whiteshear of government programs for minorities and feel as if they are lazy or just looking for ahandout. This occurs and stereotypes are formed. Combine all of this with the United Statessystem of dual welfareand the perfect environment for racial strife is created. In ourclasslesssociety of false hope the working class and poor are continually seekingopportunities to excel that just aren’t there. They have been led to believe that intelligenceand ambition are key contributors to one’s success.
This belief lays blame on theunsuccessful themselves, even if they do possess ambition and intelligence. These peopleare in a never ending cycle of struggle, followed by minimal rewards, which eventuallyproduces a frustration that sometimes leads to desperate measures. The Summer Stragedy, The Filling Station, Southeast Arkanasia, The Southern Road and Mending Wall are the stories and poems that depict the life of a different classes people in a society.One way you can read Mending Wall by Robert Frost is that it is about a man who rebuildsthe wall seperating his property from his neighbours. This man, this person created byGray doesn’t seem to believe there is a use for the wall as he the neighbour is all pineand I the persona am apple orchard, but his neighbour believes that good fences makegood neighbours. The persona tries to change his neighbour’s opinion by trying to put anotion in his head? but his neighbour seems to just ignore him. So the person gets annoyedand thinks of him as an old-stone savage.
This is a very simple situation which we can allrelate to. But, if we read deeper into the poem we may find the meanings that Robert Frostwanted us to see. Firstly, as we know that this persona is against the building of wallswhere not necessary we find that it is this persona that initiates the re-building of the wall. I let my neighbour know beyond the hill. This gives the reader something to think about.It puts questions in the reader’s mind as to why he would initiate this if he doesn’t think it’snecessary. One reason may be that this persona enjoys the company of his neighbour – buthe gets frustrated with him. Maybe this person is a lonely person and any company is goodcompany.
They meet to walk the line. Maybe through mending the wall between themthey are mending their friendship. These are all viable options and as we read further into thepoem we may understand to a greater extent why he does this. When the two start buildingthe wall the reader may notice that words such as we and our are used giving the feelingof cooperation and companionship.
The persona once calls this task an outdoor game whichconnotes feelings of enjoyment, cooperation, competition. The fact that they walk the lineone on a side gives a visual image in the readers mind and may remind them of a tennisgame. I must emphasize that what is being told in the poem is from the personals point ofview, not directly Frost’s, so the reader must beware and realise that it is possible thatthe persona is wrong in some of his comments. There where it is we do not need the wall.
This comment being straight to the point makes the reader feel as if the persona is denyingthe fact that it is the wall that brings the two men together to cooperate with one another andto converse with one another (to a certain extent). The line directly after this commentsegregates the two from one another by contrasting the type of people they are with eachother. He is all pine and I am all apple orchard. the fact that this statement comes directlyafter the comment on the uselessness of the wall suggests that it is these kind of attitudesthat puts a barrier between people thus segregating them from one another. Personificationof the personas apple trees is used to explain to the reader just how much this personaundermines his neighbour.
My apple trees will never get across, and eat the cones under hispines. Even though this comment is light-hearted and almost humorous it gives the readerthe impression that the person thinks of himself as a more intelligent person than hisneighbour thus feeling that he needs to explain why the wall is unnecessary. The roots of human nature are sunk deep into our history and experiences. When in our ownlives we are to find the basis of our human nature, we must look to our early years, theformative years. Now take for example if we placed a newborn in the wild or in a high-class,well-mannered, wealthy family.
The human nature of the newborn in the wild will be exactlythat, wild and chaotic. While on the other hand the newborn in the well-mannered societywill be well mannered and moralistic. However, in the stories The Summer Stragedy, the description of the old couples and the dialogues between Jennie and Old Jeff Patton revealthe life of family who live among the lower class of society. Human nature is defined by the values that are taught and the values that society defines, if there are no societal values, human nature is doomed and lessened to that of wolves.