One dictionary definition of a wall is that it is the outermost layer of structural material protecting, surrounding, and defining the physical limits of an object. While a wall can be used for defense or as a shield against outside dangers, it can also be used as a prison by keeping people caged in. As a definition of limits, it naturally separates in and out, or in the case of the poem, this man and that man. A wall can also be defined as an intangible barrier; an obstruction of melding ideas. While Frost’s wall is a physical one with its “boulders that have fallen to each.” (871), it is also a wall that metaphorically separates. When the narrator’s neighbor grabs a stone in each hand, he becomes, “like an old-stone savage armed.” (872). The narrator no longer sees him as a peer but as someone savage, removed from the civilized nature one expects of a person. Whether they are physical or metaphorical, these walls can last for centuries or only ...
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...ll that represented an unnatural state of being. There are some that would make excuses for why such a wall should remain up, but such excuses are weak and often involve using ideas that are not their own but ideas that have been fed to them by others. A wall that protects something meaningful; that has a strong purpose behind its construction stands for ages i.e. the Great Wall of China. Frost’s wall had a weak purpose and therefore it crumbles a little bit every year. Frost’s Mending Wall sends a message that if creating something that separates is weak and falls apart, it is time to build something strong that bring us together.
Frost, Robert. "Mending Wall." Literature and its Writers: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, and Drama. Eds. Ann Charters and Samuel Charters. Compact 4th Edition. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2007. 870-872
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