Through Loyola’s very own theater production of Death and the Maiden, I was able to appreciate the school’s determination in spreading an education through stimulating events. This play served an important message because of the main character’s struggle with a “metaphorical wall”. This “metaphorical wall” keeps each character ignorant of the other, never allowing them to find truth and understanding in one another and their relationship. I found that reading “Mending Wall”, “Accident Mass. Ave.”, “Learning to Read”, and “The Service of Faith and Promotion of Justice in Jesuit Education”, opened my eyes to how different one’s perception on life could be if there was not such a division.
Death and the Maiden focused on the dark and dismal life of a young lady who was consumed by her past. This character was tormented through her own inability to speak out about these issues she cannot escape. Her life was filled with negative energy and the unspoken truth of what happened that made her become so crazy. This was detrimental to her relationship with her husband who could never seem to figure out what made her the way she was. Her emotions were never released and it slowly built inside until she finally snapped. Had she opened up she might have had a successful relationship and an overall a more positive life.
In “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost, there is a significant symbol of the “metaphoric wall” that can be represented in each story. As the neighbors in this poem talk about what to do with the wall dividing their house, they come to a slight disagreement. One feels that the wall is impersonal and that it serves primarily to keep people out of one another’s lives. However, the other neighbor believes the wall is important and that, “good fences make good neighbors”. With this comment it is evident that not everyone feels comfortable when it comes to fully expressing one another. This will affect their relationship because it is not as likely these neighbors will get to understand one another on a deeper level because of the division that is set in place.
In “Accident Mass. Ave.” by Jill McDonough, an accident between two individuals occurs that bring about raw emotions. In this case, the wall between the two individuals is not present. Although both characters are still ignorant of one another’s personality, they do not hold back when expressing how they feel. As they slam the doors to their cars they immediately start yelling at one another for the blame of the crash. However, once the realization that nothing was damaged occurs, they are less concerned about yelling and more apologetic for their actions. They can see each other’s true emotions and therefore are able to put the issue to rest.
In “Learning to Read” by Frances E.W. Harper, it is expressed how there can be a huge “metaphoric wall” when it comes to different cultures. The characters of this poem are very different when it comes to certain social classes. Some are not as fortunate to have the luxury of becoming educated as the lower class individuals in the poem while others have a wide range of opportunities. This is the wall that separates these cultures. However, in this poem you can see how the wall is broken down when teachers come to help willing students learn and become one amongst each other. It removes the ignorance these individuals have of one another and establishes an overall acceptance.
In “The Service of Faith and Promotion of Justice in Jesuit Education” by Fr. Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, Jesuit principles and teachings are expressed. This reading allows one to understand the importance that building a relationship has from Jesuit principles. Through education and services, it is imperative to express your inner self and form relationships that are strong and valuable. This will eliminate that wall and establish a community that is whole as one.
Expressing the inner truth that can sit at the bottom of our guts can be a releasing and enlightening experience. When we choose to become guarded and keep that wall up, we are not able to grow in our relationships with others. Completing this can significantly change the way we go about living our lives.