Aspects of Human Paper

Aspects of Human Paper

The Letter from Birmingham Jail refers to a popular document written in 1963, by Martin Luther King, Jr. In it, Martin Luther King justifies the approach of nonviolent resistance in dealing with racism. The letter argued that human beings had a moral duty to violate unfair laws, and to take an active stand instead of waiting for a long time for justice to be served using the formal judicial methods. Martin Luther King responded to the initial claims that racial segregation struggles should be limited to the courtroom using legal, religious, and social arguments. The poem Mending Wall by Robert Frost talks about the state of the relationship between two neighbors and the disappearing habit of social interaction. Lastly, In a Doll’s House is a play that outlines the marriage norms in the 19th century. It examines the way I which men and women are influenced by norms as they relate within the society. Analyzing the common theme of different aspects of human experiences in these three primary sources and other related sources will improve the understanding of literary devices and approaches.

Aspect of Human Experience

The Letter from Birmingham Jail and Mending Wall contain a heavy amount of the role of morality in human relationships. In his text, Marin Luther King exposes the skewed perceptions of most human beings. From his viewpoint, it was clear that the clergymen criticized the protests but failed to admonish the facilitators of the unjust situation that in this case was the racial segregation laws. Injustice in the society has always been a dominant occurrence across different civilizations. The motivation for Dr. King to write the open letter originated from a need to realize a wholesome, deserved, and fair lifestyle for the African America population within the United States. Dr. King understood that the clergymen preferred to have a silent courtroom negotiation rather than a public protest. Given the state of affairs in the United States, Martin Luther King had already witnessed the grave social injustices that worked in favor of white business owners. For such imbalanced societies, the human experience for different communities is vastly different. For one set, most of which comprised of minorities such as African Americans and Hispanics, life was devoid of basic human rights such as food, employment, and access to public facilities. Conversely, the other set of individuals enjoyed all, the human rights and privileges in excess. The beneficiaries of this imbalanced society are complacent and content with the status quo. This phenomenon represents one of the fundamental aspects of human nature that can be explained using several theories including Darwin’s survival of the fittest. Martin Luther King insisted that negotiations would be useless without a protest since it created a crisis that coerced disinclined parties to bargain for better terms for African Americans. Even after the conditions improve for African Americans, it is difficult to argue against the fact that tension was the main prompting factor.

Tension was also evident in the poem Mending Wall. In a setting similar to Martin Luther’s, the poem illustrated the conflict between two neighbors over the construction of a needless wall. The central image in Mending Wall is captivating. It is rare to encounter two rational men meeting on civil terms and neighborliness to erect a barrier between their territories. This action occurs involuntarily. Seclusion within the neighborhood was a sort of tradition, almost a habit. Nonetheless, the natures conspires against their pointless objective and transforms their mission Sisyphean. In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was destined eternally to push a boulder up a mount before it would roll down again. These two men push their virtual boulders in the process of completing the wall; however just as unavoidably, different elements including hunters, sprites, frost, and thaw bring down their strong-willed efforts. However, the neighbors keep up their efforts. The poem, consequently, appears to contemplate traditionally on three major themes: creating barriers or in the broader sense, segregation, the futile nature of this effort, and the human nature of obsessing in this habit regardless. The narrator would have the audience believe human beings can be categorized into two groups: people who obstinately persist in erecting unnecessary barriers accompanied by justifications and another group who strive to eliminate this habit. This group works to break the social and economic barriers. For the analysts of literary works, it is a difficult task to separate these two impulses. The definition of a wall breaker and a wall builder as expressed by Robert Frost demands a greater understanding of the contribution of each individual in society. The poem also addresses the need for physical and social boundaries. The narrator was a perfect example of the tension and detachment. While ridiculing his neighbor’s determined habit of building the wall, to a point of perceiving it with humorous indifference, the narrator services the wall on numerous occasions throughout the year to rectify the damages. Both the narrator and his neighbor relish the opportunity to meet and fix the wall on a regular basis. In such a situation, it is relatively difficult to identify the person building the walls and the person tearing them down. The narrator notes that it is pointless to create a wall between them. However, he adds that one may be necessary in a place “where there are cows”. Reverting to the previous discussion on human nature, it is evident that the narrator in Mending Wall as well as other human beings derives purpose, contentment out of activities that involved building a wall. What other explanation is there for the hearty and repeated reinforcement of the wall. There is an innate need to admire the confines and security of a wall, or at least, the process of constructing one.

Social tensions and seclusion exhibit themselves in all the three texts in the course. The common theme of seclusion has manifested itself gradually over the years. The development of different areas in life such as technology, gender perspectives, and economics has ensured that human beings can live without coexistence and cooperation. The deterioration of human contact because of increased digital communication is accompanied by self-reliance and seclusion. Social studies have proposed the creation of barriers that can be defined as situations and settings that prevent people from completely contributing in their society. These barriers achieve this situation using marginalization and isolation strategies; refusing access to and involvement in organizations, and barring the access to equal rights. What is interesting is that both the victim and perpetrator work hard to create and uphold these barriers.

Henrik Ibsen touched on the controversial topic of marriage at a period when society had very rigid views concerning the institution. In a Doll’s House contains the dominant theme of gender conflict that originates from tension between men and women is evident. The dominant theme in the play is the dissolution of a marriage that fails to satisfy the social standards. The main point of In A Doll’s House appears to be that a functional marriage demands a unification of equals. The drama concentrates on the disintegration of a matrimony that initially started with a happy couple. However, in the course of the production, the differences between Mr. and Mrs. Helmer become gradually clearer. Towards the conclusion, the two people when they fail to understand each other completely. As a couple, Torvald and Nora are unable to realize their true potential as individuals. The issue of imbalance in power between Torvald and Nora

            In A Doll’s House reveals the constrained position occupied by women during the early 19th century and the complications that emerge from a sharp inequity of power between men and women. This imbalance is created by various levels of barriers that actively benefit women and work against women. Economic and social segregation of women ensures that the tension, division and inequity between men and women are maintained. In the play, the other actors perceive Nora as a child. His husband gives her the name “pet” and calls her his “property,” and pointed out that she was not very intelligent or accountable enough to handle the household finances. Other people who downplayed her significance include Krogstad and Dr. Rank who disrespected her.

Women themselves equally perpetuate the disadvantageous position they occupy in society. Mrs. Linde labelled her a “child”. In the end, the creation and upholding of discriminative policies against women eventually affect the way they perceive themselves and their role in society. Initially, the disrespect and ridicule slightly irritated Nora. However, she persevered and embraced her lower position in society and even called herself “little Nora”. It was common in the Victorian culture for husband to perceive their wives not as equals but as instruments for entrainment. In the opening act, Torvald confirms for the audience that he owns Nora. “…is that my squirrel rummaging around?” (Ibsen, 1879). She even made a pledge to obey her husband always. However, several indicators illustrate Nora is dissatisfied in her restricted role as a woman. The disadvantageous position occupied by women perpetuated and entrenched by years of oppression and subjugation is responsible for the creation of these barriers.

Women are equal human beings and they should enjoy the same rights as men. When discussing about the secret of her finances for trip to Italy, she expressed a sense of pleasure in being able to control money. What makes her statement important is that she noted that it was “almost like being a man.” This statement is an indicator of the financial barriers created by men to restrict economic independence among women. A significant conflict emerges between men and women over the control and realization of basic as well as auxiliary human rights. With the progress of the play, Nora’s discontent with her position as a woman increases gradually. In the concluding scene, she tells her husband that she desired to be treated as a self-sufficient individual with an ability to think for herself. Her drastic answer to this problem is to abandon the domestic lifestyle regardless of Torvald’s decision to change his behaviour. An individual might perceive this issue as a unique one limited to Torvald and Nora.

Mrs. Linde is the representative of independent women who led the revolution against the unjust gender relationship. Her efforts to rectify the gender imbalance in the Victorian era were characterized by a total defiance of the marriage institution, social standards and the perceptions of people concerning what is feminine. Towards the end, Nora comes to the same realization as Mrs. Linde: women have little chance of enjoying equal rights as men within a patriarchal society. The fundamental issue in the paper is the perception and practice of domestic life during the 19th century. Women sought redress from legal and cultural discrimination that made it difficult for them to be acknowledged or deemed as complete individuals. In the meantime, the male characters in the play filled a specific role. The male protagonists in the play including Torvald and Krogstad display an ambitious streak, motivated not only by the duty to feed their families as well as achieving a higher social status.

Conflict between men and women in the society Kristine Linde does not fit the stereotype of a Victorian woman controlled by a  patriarchal society. Mrs. Linde is introduced as an old friend of Nora’s whom Nora has not seen in a number of years. Mrs. Linde is a widow, which frees her from many of the constraintsof her society against women. Mrs. Linde is able to live on her own, to make her own decisions, and to enter into contracts. She is strong in contrast with Nora’s weakness, and it is interesting to note that “it is only because she is widowed that Mrs. Linde is allowed to work outside her home” (Parker, 2003, para. 5). Mrs. Linde’s strength is a subtle foreshadowing of Ibsen’s message at the end of the play that a woman can be strong.


The analysis of the aspects of human experience in the three texts generated several conclusions. The relationship between the three texts is formed by the common theme of social barriers. In the text The Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr., social and economic injustices perpetrated by the white

Society has a tradition of secluding each other

Tension is the motivating factor

Habit of creating boundaries

Literary Devices Used

Team Member Experiences

Connection to Interpretation of Literary Works

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