Walls And Borders Essay, Research Paper
Walls and Borders Do good fences really make good neighbors? (666) Robert Frost s poem Mending Wall examines this as a local issue. It can also be interpreted as a global issue. Frost writes about two neighbor farmers and how a wall between their property effects the relationship between the two. Taking a more global look at the issue, the conflict in the former Yugoslavia relates to Mending Wall. Perhaps good fences give people a false sense of security. Robert Frost s poem, Mending Wall, is about two neighbors who meet every year in the spring to rebuild the wall, which borders their properties. The wall is toppled each year by hunters, weather, and time. The narrator of the poem doesn t see the point of rebuilding the wall year after year. He sees no problem with just letting the wall alone. He doesn t understand what he is walling in or walling out. (667) He calls it, an outdoor game, one on a side it comes to little more. (667) His neighbor, however, wants to build the wall, saying, Good fences make good neighbors. (667) These neighbors have a conflicting view of the wall. One doesn t see any sense in the wall, and the other insists that it be fixed, without giving any sensible reason. In 1991, the European country of Yugoslavia, located in southeastern Europe, in the Balkan Mountains, split into eight different nations, due to an ethnic cleansing . The countries formed from the split are Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Macedonia, Kosovo, Vgivodina, and Serbia. The main reason for the split is the diversity of the ethnic groups involved. There are the Serbs, Muslims, Croats, and Bosnians. The civil war started when Serbs in Bosnia and Croatia incited a rebellion. Bosnia is the center of the conflict, being the most diverse. The Bosnian-Croat Federation occupies Western Bosnia, which includes the capital city of Sarajevo. Whereas eastern Bosnia is occupied by the Serb Republic. Sarajevo is the center of most of the fighting, because it is such a diverse city, torn by different ethnic neighborhoods. Many European countries and the United States tried to end fighting before it spread throughout Europe, creating World War 3. The Dayton Agreement was established to try to unify the city. It stated that Sarajevo s Muslim and Serb neighborhoods are reunified under the Bosnian government, much to the disdain of the Bosnian Serbs, who want to divide the city. Fighting continued for a few years, while the United Nations pursued peace. As of late, however, Bosnia has cooled down, due to peace talk efforts between governments and rebels.
In February of 1998, the heat shifted to the Serbian province of Kosovo. Kosovo is ninety percent Albanian, which is a predominantly Muslim country, just south of the former Yugoslavia. The Muslims want out of Serbia, and have used force to get their point across. The KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army) was formed as a rebel force to fight the Serb forces, supported by the Yugoslav army units. In just under a year, hundreds have been killed and three hundred thousand have been displaced. The United Nations, NATO, and many neighboring countries have stepped in to try to progress the peace talks. The present situation is at a standstill in peace talks. The borders drawn up after the break up have left the former Yugoslavia in a chaotic muddle. The different nations and ethnic cultures in these lands have been separated and thrown together, despite borders and organized governments. This conflict in Europe is similar to the farmer s discussion in Mending Wall. Frost read this poem to an audience when he visited Russia in 1962. During the Cold War, this poem may have a symbolic meaning of a larger scale. This poem may relate to warring nations. Do good fences really make good neighbors? (666) Once Yugoslavia was divided, and the fences were established, people became stranded behind fences , and governments, that they did not want to be stranded behind. One farmer represents the different governments formed by the split up, and the other represents the different ethnic groups separated by the split up. They both disagree on the purpose of the fences. The narrators opening line is, Something there is that doesn t love a wall, but his neighbor strongly believes in fixing the walls (667). Like the poem, the governments want to keep the walls in order to keep order in the newly formed countries, but the different ethnic groups see no use in the walls, and want to live where they want. In conclusion, Robert Frost s poem, Mending Wall, can be related to the present conflict in the former Yugoslavia when looked at a more global perspective. This poem can relate to any dispute between neighbors, whether it is neighboring countries, states, towns, or houses. These walls or borders give people behind them a false sense of security. I guess that walls and borders can protect or destroy, depending on the situation.
Kennedy, X.J., and Dana Gioia, ed.Literature:An Introduction `to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. New York: Harper Collins, 1995.