In Frost’s poem “Mending Wall”, Frost portrays the negative side to creating barriers and walls that inhibit people from branching out into the unknown. Jesuit education is based on making an individual a well-rounded person and it is impossible to do it with these fences. An “ignorance is bliss” mentality can keep a person out of trouble yet at the same time it hinders the neighbor from developing a relationship with those on the other side. The neighbor is afraid of change and wants things to remain as they are because it has already been ingrained in his mind by his father that this is how things should be. Conversely, the Jesuit mentality is to always look at things in new lights and to not be afraid of branching out of what is normal and comforting. The only time the neighbor would ever be able to build relationships would be if he was willing to break down those fences. Frost implies that, although it may be hard to change and diversify oneself and much easier to just keep to oneself with privacy, there are so much better things in the outside world to expand one’s sense of self.
Jill McDonough’s poem “Accident, Mass. Ave” illustrates what happens when real and unadulterated people first rely on instinct to settle a problem and then move into a more rational mindset. The poem is very much an honest piece of literature, for example, because of the fact that is does not fail to point out how the women was clearly not from there. McDonough’s raw scene where they are both caught up in all this drama implies that there is a kind of “universal” way of acting in that situation although it may not be the right one. The Jesuit education teaches the importance of reflecting through everything a person does and in the beginning of the poem obviously they were not doing so. Both the poem and Jesuit education stress the power of communication and that the way one acts in a situation depends on how much he or she wants to get done. Even though at first the two of them react angrily and shrill toward each other as a sort of defense mechanism, they end up comforting each other. Both come to a peaceful mutual understanding because they were willing to let go of their anger and automatic reaction to the very minor car crash.
In Harper’s poem “Learning to Read”, Harper suggests that the best way to overcome any form of oppression is by educating oneself and in this poem’s case it is an enslaved women who is learning how to read. The woman in the novel has the drive and will power to keep on educating herself through the books of the bible. This poem is the piece out of all three that most exemplifies what a Jesuit education tries to achieve. Jesuits believe that education can change a life for the better and in Harper’s enslaved woman there is a glimpse of just that. Just because the woman is enslaved physically does not mean that her mind and her ability to learn is at all impaired. By learning to read from the Bible, she has discovered her own way to be independent and strong on her own. Education is not only the most important way a person can free his or herself from a stagnant cycle of repression but also a way out.
When listening to Stephen Graham Jones read passages from his book, I honestly found it hard to come up with similarities between the poems we read and zombies, werewolves, and all of his other readings. However I did pick up something he said in a snippet of his passage about zombies where he stated that our pets have conditioned us to feed them and take care of them. For some odd reason and even though it is admittedly a total stretch, all he had to say in the following sentences of his novel somehow reminded me of Harper’s “Learning to Read” poem. Jone’s passage talked about how we have domesticated animals for our own leisure and that animals themselves are somehow are fully aware of this fact. The enslaved women in Harper’s poem is unfortunately fully aware of her surroundings and what her job is to the people she works for. Obviously, unlike animals, humans have the ability to grow and move past being bound to any person or persons. I found an echo between the two pieces not so much as a similarity but as a contrast between domesticated animals and humans who are fully capable of prospering.