• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

“Mending Wall” by Robert Frost

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Trevor Davis Mr. Wright English I 3 6 June 2002 [Title] "Something there is that doesn't love a wall" (Frost 1). So begins the poem "Mending Wall" by Robert Frost. On the surface, this poem appears to be about two neighbors that hold conflicting opinions about the construction of a wall dividing their lands. One of the neighbors thinks that "'Good fences make good neighbors'" (27), where as the other sees no reason to make unnatural boundaries dividing their lands. When the poem is examined further, the reader can see that there is much more meaning in the poem. Robert Frost is said to be a nature-lover (Winnick 1), and this is reflected in Frost's poem, "Mending Wall." Frost uses symbolism quite frequently in "Mending Wall" to demonstrate what is wrong with the world and the fear many have about stepping away from tradition. Three things in Robert Frost's poem, "Mending Wall" serve as symbols throughout the poem: the narrator's neighbor symbolizes society (Mending Wall 2), the wall symbolizes tradition (Haslam 2), and the phrase "'Good fences make good neighbors'" (Frost 27) ...read more.

Middle

The narrator's neighbor symbolizes the attitude and morals of society. (Mending Wall 2) The wall that the neighbor clings to symbolizes tradition for the very reason that the neighbor, symbolizing man, refuses to give it up for new ways. The narrator says that the neighbor "moves in darkness" (Frost 41), suggesting that the neighbor is hiding in the shade of the wall, staying close to tradition. The neighbor clings to the wall in the same way the man, symbolized by the neighbor, clings to tradition. The neighbor does not seem to know why he is building the wall; he is just doing it because his father told him "'Good fences make good neighbors'" (27) and because he has been doing it all his life. The neighbor refuses to let the wall be abolished, insisting that it be repaired annually, never letting be forgotten. The way that the neighbor honors the wall is the same way society honors its traditions. ...read more.

Conclusion

The narrator says: "Before I built a wall I'd ask to know/ What I was walling in or walling out" (32-33). The phrase "'Good fences make good neighbors'" (27) completely contradicts this ideology and thus symbolizes everything that the narrator believes is wrong with the world. (Mending Wall 3) In Robert Frost's poem, "Mending Wall," three things serve as symbols for larger things in the world: the neighbor, the wall, and the phrase "'Good fences make good neighbors'" (Frost 27). The neighbor symbolizes society and man as a whole because he refuses to step away from the wall because it sets boundaries that make his life simpler (Mending Wall 2). The wall symbolizes tradition because the neighbor, symbolizing society, refuses to give it up for new things and ideas (Haslam 2). The phrase "'Good fences make good neighbors'" (27) symbolizes all of the things that the narrator believes are wrong with society because the saying directly contradicts the narrator's ideals about the purpose of walls and the need for communication (Mending Wall 3). In the poem, "Mending Wall," everything seems to represent something else that is larger and more important. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Robert Frost section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Robert Frost essays

  1. Commentarty: Mending Wall by Robert Frost

    However, I think that the title "Mending Wall" comes from the Anglo-Saxon proverb: 'Mending fences', which means to reconcile a friendship. This is ironic because in the poem, mending the wall means separating the two neighbours and not them becoming friends.

  2. Discuss Frost's Attitudes Towards Nature and People in 'Out Out-', 'Two Tramps in Mud ...

    mood is now darkened as the very graphic image of the boys death is told. The doctor puts the young boy to sleep under anaesthetic, but drastically the boy does not wake up. The boy is no longer of use to the people- 'no more to build on there', which

  1. Dead Poets Society

    This message is displayed again in the quotation, "Most men lead lives of quiet desperation" from Henry Thoreau. Mr. Keating does not want the boys to live in "quiet desperation" or go without being noticed, he wants their voices to be heard.

  2. On 'Mending Wall' by Robert Frost.

    This preference foreshadows the narrator's calm but cold reaction on mending a wall at the end of the poem. In line 11, 'But at spring mending-time we find them there', along with the rebirth of spring emerge gaps in a wall, coordinated reparation as well as a remarkable irony in

  1. Robert Frost

    "Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back"(line 14-15). Robert Frost's tone is thoughtful, in a way stressed between decision he needs to make. "And sorry I could not travel both"(line 2).

  2. Free essay

    Fros's peorty is more about people than nature. Discuss

    childhood, if only for a moment, "by giving him the half an hour" he obviously craved "to please the boy". Repetition is used here to emphasise the ever growing danger of the saw as it's menacing sounds "snarled and rattled" acting almost as a reminder that even within this idyllic

  1. Compare and contrast 2 or more anthologies. Consider the principles and preferences which ...

    This is included in the 'self' section of Motions anthology. It appears to have a strong message about the state of the world, which may demonstrate why Motion selected it. The word 'Prayer' instantly links the poem to religion, emphasising that it is a prayer for guidance, to help the unborn child.

  2. Emotional Barriers in Robert Frost's Mending wall and Home burial".

    written was for men to show little emotion, they are more interested in maintaining tradition rather than developing relationships. Frost shows this successfully as the speakers neighbour in the poem wants little or no contact with his neighbour, while the speaker almost seems to be trying to create a friendship with the man.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work