"Mending Wall" by Robert Frost Analysis

"Mending Wall" by Robert Frost Analysis

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  • Date Submitted: 10/02/2009 7:10 PM
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Analysis of Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall”
Stephanie Gladman 11H

“Mending Wall” written by Robert Frost shows the confusion and difference of opinion between two different generations of neighbours. It is simple to see that the speaker in the poem is more relaxed, where as his neighbour seems to be old fashioned and he likes to keep traditions once they are made.

Throughout this poem there are two lines that are repeated, which are; "Something there is that doesn’t love a wall" and "Good fences make good neighbours". Both right, because man cannot live without some kind limitations or boundaries, but the way in which they are written one is a contradiction of the other. The effect of this contradiction on the reader is to show there are always two sides to a story, and it may just depend on who the story teller is.

The narrator in Frost’s poem does not see a need for the wall, as there is nothing to fence in or fence out in their situation. He seems somewhat offended by this gesture and feels like the wall is there to separate them, which is obvious in the way he wishes to “put a notion in his head” to ask who he is likely to give offence to. This makes the reader think that he wants the neighbour to see things from his point of view. The neighbour may be putting up the wall to keep the narrator out of his life, but the reality of the situation is he may in fact just be trying to please his father, which can be seen by how he repeats his father’s saying, “Good fences make good neighbours.”

In saying this, a wall can also bring two neighbours together. Everything in life has two sides to it - whether the glass is half full or half empty. It is up to us to choose what the real meaning is, from anything important in life, to something as simple as a mending wall.

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