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Robert Frost’s poem “Mending Wall”.

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Introduction

Summary Walls are nothing but barriers, which represent differentiation and division. This is the main matter of Robert Frost's poem "Mending Wall". A stone wall separates the speaker's property from his neighbor's. In spring, the two meet to renovate the wall. The speaker sees no reason for the wall to be constructed, as there are no cows to destroy each other's possessions (and hence, in the process damage their relationship). There are only apple and pine trees, which of course cannot eat each other. He does not believe in building up walls to share a good relationship, while on the contrary, the neighbor resorts to an old clich´┐Ż: "Good fences make good neighbors", when in reality, fences create disharmony among people. ...read more.

Middle

This has become a regular procedure for them. Yet nature itself is against the erection of the wall; it hampers the wall from remaining firm. These men replace the broken boulders back on top of the wall, yet ultimately, whether at the hand of hunters, or the invisible hand of nature, the rocks tumble down again. Still, the neighbor persists on continuing with their repertoire. The poem, thus, seems to contemplate on three distinctive themes: barrier-building (animosity, in the broadest sense of the word), the catastrophic consequence of this conduct, and the persistence in this activity regardless of the outcome. This wall-building act seems ancient and ludicrous, for Frost uses terms such as "spells" and "elves," and the neighbour is described as a Stone-Age man while he builds the wall. ...read more.

Conclusion

The satirical part of the poem is that the building of the wall is the only time the neighbours interact. Thus, wall-building, for them, becomes more like a social activity. As a matter of fact, there is a whole lot of purpose and gain in breaking the wall. The bringing down of the wall is probably the key to unification. In fact, nature itself seems to be urging the neighbours to connect with each other by ruining the traditional boundaries. On a superficial level, Frost seems to be talking about a wall between two typical neighbours but a closer look will reveal that the subject of the poem actually relates to relationships as a whole. The poem also advocates a moral that mankind should be brave enough to elude from the dark and reach out for the enlightenment. ...read more.

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