It is arguable that the self-righteous speaker of “Mending Wall” is himself obsessively committed to wall building, far more intractably and instinctively committed than his cliché-bound neighbor. While the speaker of “Mending Wall” justifiably castigates his unthinking neighbor and is himself far more aware of the powers of language for good and for ill, he is nonetheless caught up, ironically perhaps, in the same actual task, wall building, which will have the same results and look no different from his neighbor’s contribution despite the narrative he brings to it.
There are several possibilities for irony here, depending on the level of Frost’s self-awareness. Wall imagery pervades his poetry, as a conscious poetic image and as a psychosexual marker of control and limitation. That the speaker is the one who calls the neighbor to mend the wall is vitally important, then, but it is not clear that Frost meant for the speaker to be ironically perceived as a hypocrite. The simple explanation, that the speaker acts out of a sense of inevitability, knowing his neighbor’s habits, seems hardly enough given the contextual symbolism of the wall in Frost’s poetry; the psychological explanation attendant upon this version might suggest that Frost’s conscious intent was subverted by his own unconscious need for walls.
So while Frost might not mean the speaker to be self-parodic, the reader might judge that there is an ironic discrepancy between what is said and what is meant, both by the speaker and by the poet. On a deeper level even than this is the possibility that Frost was aware of, had taken account of and justified, his own need for barriers. One does, after all, need something against which to push. In this case, the poem might be completely unironic, for while both men are engaged in the same task, each brings a different narrative to it, the one limited to a thoughtless clichJ , the other enriched philosophically.
Free Candide Essays: Politically Incorrect
The Politically Incorrect Candide
Candide is a story that should be added to every canon in literature. It is a story that addresses issues about human nature that other stories choose to ignore. It addresses issues such as human nature, optimism, and religion and state. These elements give an insight and a perspective that readers do not usually get in every day literature. These elements are controversial, but from an honest point of view. Voltaire never tries to be politically correct – he tells it like it is or at least tells it like he sees things. Not only does Voltaire address the ignorance of mankind, but also he directly challenges the integrity of the church and state. This, in Voltaire’s day and often times in modern days, can prove to be quite dangerous. Through all of this, Voltaire sternly opposes many issues of religion and state. Because of these dangerous issues, Voltaire was forced to deny his writing of Candide. By Voltaire’s death in 1778, Candide had climbed to fifty editions and became the best seller of the eighteenth century. (pg.11 Weitz)
Because of the conflict prevalent in the story of Candide, it makes this story a good topic for discussion in a classroom setting. There is much debating that can be done over many topics. The range of offensive topics in Candide is sure to strike a nerve in every one in some way, shape or form. Or, at least bring up issues valuable enough for discussion. Candide is a story the students, in some parts can relate to, and possibly in other parts be offended by. It is a novel that by all means should be read by every one to experience a perspective that is none too often revealed in literature especially in the day that Voltaire wrote Candide.