The poem “Fence” by Pat Mora is a poem about choices and the consequences that come with them. The speaker in the poem is talking to someone who has made a choice that has led to them being “fenced in” and unable to move forward in their life. The speaker asks the person if they regret their choice, and the person says they do not. The speaker then tells the person that they are not alone, and that there are others who have made similar choices. The speaker asks the person if they want to be free, and the person says they do.
The speaker then offers to help the person escape their prison, but the person says they cannot leave because they have children. The speaker tells the person that they will never be able to see their children again if they stay, and the person says they know. The poem ends with the speaker telling the person that they will always be there for them, and that they will never forget them.
In this poem, Pat Mora poignantly captures the social divide between rich and poor through the eyes of an innocent young girl. Throughout her body of work, Mora often explores various types of borders that exist in our world – physical, mental, spiritual and social. Inequalities such as these persist in our society despite empty promises equality being paraded around every now and again. The speaker successfully conveys this message to readers through her heart-touching words.
The poem is set in a rough neighbourhood. The speaker, a young girl, lives on one side of the fence while her friend lives on the other. The fence symbolises the social divide between the two families – the poor and the rich. The girl talks about how she can see her friend’s house from her own and how different their lives are.
While her friend has a beautiful house with plenty of food and toys, the speaker herself lives in a rundown shack with barely anything to call her own. In spite of this, she still tries to be positive and looks forward to the time when she can play with her friend again.
The theme of social inequality is further explored through the contrast between the two families’ lifestyles. The girl’s family is struggling to make ends meet while her friend’s family has everything they could ever need. This poem makes us think about the different types of fence that exist in our world and how they can impact people’s lives. It also highlights the importance of being grateful for what we have, even when it seems like we have nothing.
Pat Mora’s poem “Fences” brings up relevant issues of class division and privilege. The poem starts on a positive note, with the line “Mouths full of laughter,” setting a safe and harmless tone. In the next line, though, Mora uses the Spanish word ‘turistas,’ indicating that the speaker is likely Hispanic.
The reader can detect the class and status of the speaker only in the last few lines of the poem. This is when Speaker’s mother says, “It’s their beach,” after seeing speaker’s younger sister running across where affluent tourists are present. Consequently, a Marxist reading of is possible for this poem.
The poem’s Marxist reading would state that the speaker and her family are poor Mexican-Americans who are living in the shadows of the wealthy. The speaker’s mother tells her not to play on the “other side of the fence,” which could be interpreted as a warning to stay away from people who are different from them, or those with more money. In other words, the speaker’s mother is telling her to stay within her own class, and not to try and cross over into the world of the rich.
The theme of class division is also evident in Mora’s choice of diction. She uses words such as “laugher,” “beach,” and “fence,” which all have positive connotations. On the other hand, she also uses words like “turistas,” which has a negative connotation, as it suggests that the speaker and her family are not welcome in the world of the wealthy.
This theme is further developed through the use of imagery. The reader can imagine the speaker’s mother watching her younger sister play on the other side of the fence, where the turistas are, and feeling sad that her own daughter can never experience that kind of life.
The following six lines serve to further highlight the class divide between the speaker and the tourists. The speaker observes the women rubbing oil into their skin, which is “sweeter than honey,” and the children playing while sipping on drinks with “long straws” – one coconut white and one mango yellow.
These scented oil and colorful drinks (possessions, in Marxist terms) demonstrate the privilege that these tourists have in comparison to what little possessions or resources the speaker herself has – plastic straws for instance instead of long ones, and basic drinksinstead of those with two different colors.
Second, the speaker hears the “loud music” that is coming from the turistas’ radio/cassette player, which is a sign of their wealth because they can afford not only to have a portable source of entertainment but also to buy batteries for it (which are not cheap). Third, the speaker notices that the turistas are eating “tacos al carbon / wrapped in foil.”
This meal is a luxury for them because it takes time and effort to prepare; moreover, it requires access to resources that most people in Mexico do not have, such as an abundance of meat, clean running water, and electricity. All of these factors work together to create a sharp contrast between the speaker’s reality and that of the turistas, which ultimately serves to highlight the class divide between them.
The speaker lacks a clear view of the tourists and can only see them through the cactus fence, which creates a divide between the upper and lower class.
Although the speaker is not completely sure what it is that the tourists are doing, she can see that they are “laying on the sand” and “waving”. The speaker uses language that creates a sense of distance between her and the tourists. She refers to them as “they” throughout the poem which furthers the idea that there is a divide between the two groups of people.
The theme of class divisions is also explored in the poem “Fence” by Pat Mora. In this poem, the speaker is a woman who lives near the Mexican border. She observes tourists who come to visit Mexico and notes the differences between their lifestyle and her own. The speaker describes the tourists as “laying on the sand” and “waving”. She also mentions that they are “laughing” and “swimming”.