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

On 'Mending Wall' by Robert Frost.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

On 'Mending Wall' From the very title of this poem Robert Frost implies his intention of presenting an everlasting barricade in human relationship, symbolized by the image of a wall. Close analysis reveals a work that functions on many levels. On the surface, 'Mending Wall' pictures a scene in which the narrator and his neighbor cooperate with one another to mend a cracked wall and then begin a reasoning dispute over the significance/insignificance of having a wall between them. However, as the poem develops, more underlying conflicts are unfolded which cast a different light on the scene before the readers. Frost takes on these issues to explore some of the more complex aspects of human relationship in modern days. The poem opens with a comment of the puzzled narrator about an unknown force that 'sends the frozen-ground-swell under it/And spills the upper boulders in the sun', producing measurable gaps in the wall. By the use of an unlikely compound noun: 'frozen-ground-swell', instead of a proper word, such as 'ice' or 'icicle', and the failure to relate the cracks as consequences of the former phenomenon the comment is likely to be the voice of a youth as well as a remark to the natural wonder. Then the depiction of gaps caused by hunters disrupts the scene and brings in a preliminary conflict within the narrator's mind; that is, ironically, the narrator approves only of natural cracks in a wall not the man-made ones. ...read more.

Middle

We wear our fingers rough with handling them. Oh, just another kind of outdoor game', hinted by such examples as the effect of interrupting uneasiness from continuous unstressed ending and some words, including 'have to', 'spell', and 'rough', that connote hardship. While mending the wall, the narrator is, however, overwhelmed thoughtlessly with joyful physical recreation and sense of collaboration with his neighbor. Even though he has remarked somewhere that the wall is set up again, the narrator seems ironically ignorant to the fact that 'mending wall' will later disunify his sense of 'we', the togetherness between himself and his neighbor. Once he realizes it an argument will be unavoidable. At a particular point, 'One on a side' , Frost allows his narrator a pause for reasoning thoughts by applying a long-vowel sound followed immediately by a Caesura. The pause as well as the subsequent statement: 'It comes to little more', reports a wondering tone and suggests in some way that the narration is developing his intellectual maturity. He begins his first argument against the significance of 'mending wall', saying innocently 'My apple trees will never get across/And eat the cones under his pines'. He fails to argue his neighbor's murmur: "Good fences make good neighbors", though. Further on the main conflict of a revolutionary mind versus a conservative one has fully developed, illustrating Frost's concerned awareness of mental gaps in modern relationship. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, seeds of satire are also disseminated in the delineation of the rebelling narrator. The Fruit of Knowledge, which is compared to the revolutionary mind, is not only the cause of human intelligence but also that of human banishment from the Garden of Eden. Considering himself as civilized and assuming allegedly that his belief is unarguably correct, the narrator of the 'Mending Wall' is somehow driven by pride when he ridicules his neighbor as a prehistoric savage. Moreover, such premises as the eating of 'cones', the wandering of 'cows' and the uselessness of a 'wall' have their implication of materialism (Note that they are all materials and involve the gain/loss of benefits). Frost may intend to insert these defaults to make his subversive narrator less reliable and leave space for individual readers to judge according to their own favour. When finishing 'Mending Wall' it is possible to assert that the poem is a microcosm of our changing world in which ones are gradually separated from the others as a result of ones' own bias, causing interminable gaps in human relationship. Portrayed in 'Mending Wall' are the narrator, the revolutionary mind, who assumes arrogantly his superiority to others and his neighbor, the conservative mind, who possesses indestructible sense of stubbornness. Frost has implied that the roots of all trouble indeed lie within these two egocentric characters. The wall itself stands as an ironic symbol of integration or reconciliation and does not account for the disintegration between the narrator and his neighbor. Poonperm PAITAYAWAT 444 01419 22 ...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

    Political walls between countries, social barriers between races, sexes and religions and also, the walls that we build personally around ourselves to prevent us from being hurt by someone. Throughout the poem we are unsure who the person telling the story is.

  2. After Apple Picking by Robert Frost

    As the persona looks back on his life, he sees unfinished tasks, and thus he feels regret, which parallels the apples to the experiences that he has missed in life. The poem moves beyond a realistic description of apple picking through the use of tone.

  1. Discuss some of the major thematic concerns in the poetry of Frost and explore ...

    Frost also portrays nature in an emotional, spiritual as well as sensual way. The effective use of the various forms of imagery stands out very clearly, bringing out these aspects of nature. The different kinds of imagery used in "After Apple-picking" brings out the sensual qualities of nature and how man is able to relate to them.

  2. Closely analyse the poems 'Sacifice' by Taufiq Rafat and 'Out, Out' by Robert Frost. ...

    This suggests the finality of the poem. 'But the hand was gone already'. This means that despite what he wants it doesn't matter because the hand was gone and it couldn't have been used again. In the next sentence we find out that their medical provision is quite basic because

  1. Free essay

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

    his obligation to Warren Duty features heavily in 'Death of a hired Man'. Silas a former farmhand, having failed to fulfil his obligations previously, returns back to the farm where he once worked in order to finish work he once started.

  2. Poets often use nature imagery to comment on the relationship between humans and the ...

    (Thomas 633) Unlike for Coleridge, the speaker in "Fern Hill" is not preoccupied with his future or what he needs to accomplish before death; he simply desires to live his life by appreciating the beauty of his world around him while he is allowed to do so by time.

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

    The neighbours are portrayed as two very different people, which can be seen with the layout of their land. The speaker is said to have apple trees in his land which appear welcoming.

  2. With close reference to Out, Out - explore how Frost directs the readers sympathies ...

    Furthermore, the harsh ?d? sound is repeated in the next line, ?dust and dropped?, which gives it an unyielding quality, like the machine keeps working, it doesn?t stop for anyone. Therefore the reader pities the boy here, as he cannot contend with such an unyielding machine.

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