Mending Wall by Robert Frost Essay

Mending Wall by Robert Frost Essay

Length: 2100 words (6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

“Mending Wall” by Robert Frost


     “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost is a poem in which the characteristics of vocabulary, rhythm and other aspects of poetic technique combine in a fashion that articulates, in detail, the experience and the opposing convictions that the poem describes and discusses. The ordinariness of the rural activity is presented in specific description, and as so often is found in Frost’s poems, the unprepossessing undertaking has much larger implications. Yet his consideration of these does not disturb the qualities of accessible language and technique, which give the poem its unique flavor and persuasiveness. The poem works on two levels of realism and metaphor, with a balance as poised as the act of mending the all itself.

     (themes) Perhaps one of the reasons that Frost remains one the best known and best loved American poets is that his themes are universal and attractive. They offer the reader affirmative resolutions for the conflicts dramatized in his life and his poetry. Readers, whether young or old, waging their own struggles against the constant threat of chaos in their life, find comfort and encouragement in many of Frost’s lines which are so cherished that they have become familiar quotations: “Good fences make good neighbors”, “Miles to go before I sleep.”

     (theme) “Mending Wall” is about boundaries. Frost, in a personal evaluation of this poem stated, “Nationality is something I couldn’t live without. I played exactly fair in it. Twice I say ‘Good fences’, twice I say ‘Something there is—‘. While giving a reading of his poetry in Santa Fe, Frost called the “Mending Wall” ‘too New Englandish’ and that mending wall is an occupation he used to follow. The neighbor in the poem is not a Yankee as represented, but is actually A French-Canadian who was very particular every spring about setting up the wall.

     (theme/subject) Frost often stated that he felt ‘spoken to’ by nature. He called these incidents ‘nature favors’ and these favors served as inceptors of his poems. Many people refer to him as a nature poet, however there is always a person, a character in his nature poetry.

     (subject/setting) Frost always claimed he wasn’t a nature poet and that there is almost always a person in the poem and that the poem is about the person, not about nature, which is usually beautifully described. Nature se...


... middle of paper ...


...ngs). Something refers to a big, unknown unspeakable force – God? (expand on this). Or it could refer to the fact that in New England the frost heaves the ground in the winter, much as ice cubes swell up. Anything made of stone or brick suffers because of the upward pressure. Also: In actuality, stone walls were never built between properties. As farmers would plow their fields the stone were unearthed and carried to the property line and dumped. I’m sure Frost was aware of these facts but didn’t really care about how the physical wall came about, for he uses this wall only in the metaphoric sense to describe the way we wall ourselves in, while not knowing what we might be walling out. In Mending Wall Frost has recognized the existence of a force that sends a powerful emotion, a groundswell under the barriers that human beings create around themselves in an attempt to break these barriers down.

     Mending Wall has a man who both builds and repairs the wall, as well as works to topple the wall. He makes boundaries while at the same time trying to break them. That’s part of what makes this poem universally acceptable and enjoyable. Frost has described all of mankind.
          

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Themes of Robert Frost's Mending Wall Essays

- The Themes of Robert Frost's Mending Wall One of the major themes of Frost's Mending Wall is the cycle of the seasons. Several phrases refer to the seasons, particularly in a repetitive, cyclic way: "spring mending-time," "frozen ground-swell," "once again," "spring is the mischief in me." Another theme is parallelism or the lack of it. Sometimes this parallelism takes a physical form, associated with the wall, as we imagine the two men walking parallel paths: "We meet to walk the line." "We keep the wall between us as we go." "One on a side." It is a mental wall, though, as well as a physical one, and I read the gaps as making possible a meeting of minds and attitudes as well as of lands...   [tags: Mending Wall Essays]

Powerful Essays
2149 words (6.1 pages)

Actual and Symbolic Barriers in Robert Frost's Mending Wall Essay

- Actual and Symbolic Barriers in Robert Frost's Mending Wall The appearance of barriers, both literal and figurative, is significant to the narrative of Robert Frost's "Mending Wall." The story in this piece revolves around a wall separating two men, their yards, and their lives. The wall is not only a physical boundary; it also symbolizes the barriers between the two in other aspects of their lives. The most noticeable barrier in this work is obviously the wall dividing the yard. The reason for a wall between the trees is unknown to the narrator and the reader....   [tags: Mending Wall Essays Papers Frost]

Powerful Essays
1036 words (3 pages)

Robert Frost's Mending Wall Essay

- Robert Frost's Mending Wall Traditions have always had a substantial effect on the lives of human beings, and always will. Robert Frost uses many unique poetic devices in his poem “Mending Wall,” as well as many shifts in the speaker’s tone to develop his thoughts on traditions. The three predominant tones used are those of questioning, irony and humor. The speaker questions many things in relation to the wall that is being rebuilt. For example, “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall”, is used to question what despises the wall’s presence....   [tags: essays papers]

Powerful Essays
523 words (1.5 pages)

Essay on Analysis of Robert Frost's Mending Wall

- Robert Frost’s Mending Wall In his poem 'Mending Wall', Robert Frost presents to us the thoughts of barriers linking people, communication, friendship and the sense of security people gain from barriers. His messages are conveyed using poetic techniques such as imagery, structure and humor, revealing a complex side of the poem as well as achieving an overall light-hearted effect. Robert Frost has cleverly intertwined both a literal and metaphoric meaning into the poem, using the mending of a tangible wall as a symbolic representation of the barriers that separate the neighbors in their friendship....   [tags: essays research papers Frost]

Powerful Essays
1175 words (3.4 pages)

Essay about The Theme of Isolation in Robert Frost's The Mending Wall

- The Theme of Isolation in Robert Frost's The Mending Wall Robert Frost's "The Mending Wall" is a comment on the nature of our society. In this poem, Frost examines the way in which we interact with one another and how we function as a whole. For Frost, the world is often one of isolation. Man has difficulty communicating and relating to one another. As a result, we have a tendency to shut ourselves off from others. In the absence of effective communication, we play the foolish game of avoiding any meaningful contact with others in order to gain privacy....   [tags: Mending Wall Essays]

Powerful Essays
793 words (2.3 pages)

The Hidden Meaning of Robert Frost's Mending Wall Essay

- The Hidden Meaning of Robert Frost's Mending Wall  "Mending Wall" is a poem written by the poet Robert Frost. The poem describes two neighbors who repair a fence between their estates. It is, however, obvious that this situation is a metaphor for the relationship between two people. The wall is the manifestation of the emotional barricade that separates them. In this situation the "I" voice wants to tear down this barricade while his "neighbor" wants to keep it. "Neighbor" is here a metaphor for two people who are emotionally close to each other....   [tags: Mending Wall Essays]

Free Essays
435 words (1.2 pages)

Working Together in Robert Frost's Mending Wall Essay

- Working Together in Robert Frost's Mending Wall The air is cool and crisp. Roosters can be heard welcoming the sun to a new day and a woman is seen, wearing a clean colorful wrap about her body and head, her shadow casting a lone silhouette on the stone wall. The woman leans over to slide a piece of paper into one of the cracks, hoping her prayer will be heard in this city of Jerusalem. Millions are inserting their prayers into the walls of Japanese temples, while an inmate in one of a hundred prisons across the United States looks past his wall toward the prayers he did not keep....   [tags: Mending Wall Essays]

Powerful Essays
867 words (2.5 pages)

Analysis Of ' Mending Wall ' By Robert Frost Essay

- The setting in "Mending Wall" by Robert Frost is crucial to the theme that it is human tendency to build barriers in some form whether they are emotional or physical ones. Frost 's description of the wall separating the two properties as well gives us a clear idea of the differences in the neighbors. The way Frost formed his poem by not using a rhyme scheme, no stanzas, a very specific amount of lines and syllables paints a picture of the wall. The author heavily focuses on the perspective of the narrator to further highlight the idea that boundaries aren 't necessarily a bad thing if we question the purpose of our walls that we put up....   [tags: Poetry, Robert Frost, Rhyme, The Wall]

Powerful Essays
851 words (2.4 pages)

Essay about The Subject of Relationships in Robert Frost's Poem The Mending Wall

- The Subject of Relationships in Robert Frost's Poem The Mending Wall Robert Frost's poem "The Mending Wall" may not seem to be a poem with a lot of meaning but if readers take time to listen to what the author has to say they will discover that it is talking about the basic relationships between people. The author is focusing on an inanimate object that separated two individuals even though it is nothing more than a little stone wall in the middle of a field. Something there is that doesn't love a wall, That sends the frozen-ground swell under it, And spills the upper boulders in the sun; And makes gaps even two can pass abreast The above selection of the poem shows how imper...   [tags: Mending Wall Essays]

Free Essays
852 words (2.4 pages)

Essay about Societal Barriers in Robert Frost's Poem The Mending Wall

- Societal Barriers in Robert Frost's Poem The Mending Wall "The Mending Wall" by Robert Frost is one of the poems in his collection that he wrote after his encounters with back- country, New England farmers. The poem centers on a wall that separates one neighbor from the other. The introduction to the wall describes the large gaps in need of repair that appear after hunters accidentally shoot the wall while hunting rabbits. The narrator then lets his neighbor know that the wall is in need of repair and they walk with the wall between them in order to view what needs repair....   [tags: Mending Wall Essays]

Powerful Essays
983 words (2.8 pages)