Analysis of Mending Wall by Robert Frost

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Analysis of Mending Wall by Robert Frost

Robert Frost is describing a process in "Mending Wall", which is repairing a wall that separates his territory and his neighbor's. The wall was deteriorated during the winter, when the cold frost created cracks and gaps in the wall. He uses a nearly infantile imagination to unravel the mystery of the damage that appeared suddenly in spring. While they are tediously laboring to reconstruct the fence, Frost is imploring his neighbor about the use of the wall; his apple trees can be clearly distinguished from his neighbor's pine trees. Yet underneath this quotidian routine, Frost goes beyond the surface to reveal its figurative meaning.

The poem renders an apparent question: Why do people build unnecessary obstructions between one another? Each the poet and his neighbor stays on his side of the wall, taking up the stones that had fallen on his own side, which suggests that there is no trespassing at all. The mysterious force that appears to be attempting to destroy the wall is a symbolic representation of the craving for harmony among all of mankind. This craving is almost depressing, because the dissatisfaction is never quenched. Its will is, however, strong and persistent, and it "makes gaps even two can pass abreast," which is a plead for the men to put aside their differences and walk side by side. Frost sympathetically watches as his neighbor "moves in darkness." The poet does not mean that he dwells under the shadow of his pine trees, but under the shadow of his hostile ignorance, and the poet perceives no hope for his brutality. The neighbor, however, thinks himself highly for his wit, disregards the wisdom of his father, and states indifferently, "Good fences ...

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... appeal to touch that "We wear our fingers rough with handling them." In this, the poet proposes that we let ourselves be taxed with the problems and differences. He elaborates on this concept as he states another visual sentence, "He is all pine and I am apple orchard." This line depicts the differences between him and his neighbor.

Robert Frost joins all his lines together in this narrative poem while still focusing on different ideas. He uses this style of poetry to develop the theme. Everything flows together yet stands apart line by line. Narratives are pleasingly unrestrained and their strive to tell stories are easeful. In "Mending Wall", Frost tells a story of how nature has instilled an entropy in barriers to provoke peaceful living among all creatures. The construction of the wall may be in fact destruction of man's relations with his peers.
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