Analysis of Mending Wall by Robert Frost


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Mending Wall written by Robert Frost, describes the relationship between two neighbors and idea of maintaining barriers. Where one of them feels that there is no need of this wall, 'There where it is we do not need the wall: He is all pine and I am apple orchard.' On the other hand his neighbor remains unconvinced and follows inherited wisdom passed down to him by his father, 'Good fences make good neighbors.' They even kept the wall while mending it, this reflect that they never interact with each other, ?We keep the wall between us as we go?. Robert Frost has maintained this literal meaning of physical barriers but it does contain metaphor as representation of these physical barriers separating the neighbors and also their friendship.
It describes how the conservative farmer follows traditions blindly and the isolated life followed by him. It reflects how people make physical barriers and that later in life come to their social life too. Where neighbor with pine tree, believes that this separation is needed as it is essential for their privacy and personal life. The poem explores a paradox in human nature. The first few lines reflect demolition of the wall, ?Something there is that doesn?t reflect love a wall? this reflects that nature itself does not like separation. The "something" referring to the intangible sense of social interaction. Furthermore "that sends the frozen-ground-swell under it" refers to Frost or to the author. Although the narrator does not want the wall, ironically, the mending of the wall brings the neighbors together and literally builds their friendship. An additional irony of the poem is that the only time these two neighbors sees each other is when they both mend the wall. The narrator sees the stubbornness in his neighbor, and uses the simile 'like an old-stone savage' to compare him to a stone-age man who 'moves in darkness', that is, set in his ways, and who is unlikely to change his views.

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This poem is in blank verse and is in one long stanza form, though it contains a narrative style which gives the feeling of storytelling in the poem. Poet tries to maintain five stressed syllables per line. The message of poet is conveyed with the use of imagery, irony and use of walls which symbolic representation of barriers have been utilize to convey message of social differences between neighbors.


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