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Mending Wall

Robert Frost

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Nations... Neighbors
Added by: Cory McHugh
I think it is interesting to note that Robert Frost read this poem while visiting Russia.

It is also interesting that the narrator's tone seems to suggest (to me) that he doesn't like fences, and that he doesn't want to mend them, and yet he is the one who specifically reminds his neighbor each year when it is time.

Perhaps we need boundaries as human beings. Or perhaps we don't need them, but we can't comprehend what life would be like without them, so we want to keep them.
Added by: Mr. Hanky
The wall seems to symbolize the space each one of us needs around us. The speaker cannot comprehend why it is needed, and asks the neighbor why they should worry about a wall, not seeing any practical reason to have it. The neighbor really doesen't know either, he simply chants what he was taught long ago by his elders that "Good fences make good neighbors." Perhaps the neighbor has a point too, as they unconciously use the wall as a chance to walk together, fixing a common posession, and working together. In this way, the wall may physically seperate them, but connects them and reaffirms that connection intangibly every spring.
Added by: James Lewis
Frost poses the question of boundaries, what are they there for? What purpose do they serve? Do we define ourselves with these boundaries or do we gradually lose definition by boxing ourselves in? Do humans thrive communally or in isolation? Today, the wall Frost refers to has magnified and strengthened to the degree that there is no need for his yearly walk with his neighbour, no stones turned loose, no holes to be filled. Good fences make good neighbours.....hmmm.
Added by: Michele
"good fences make good neighbors" to me it means that they are putting up a wall to separate themselves because if you have a wall up you dont have to bother.. you dont have to know your neighbor.. you dont have to get hurt or deal with problems that come your way... boundries are good because you dont have to get hurt.. that is the neighbors point of view. i dont think i agree because if you put up walls and you seclude yourself and never know anyone and dont get hurt you wont experience real love either.. just some thoughts..
Added by: David
Although there is a contradiction between both men It becomes apparent that nature is also against the neighbor. The poem concerns two different personality types and the human relation between them. The wall symbolizes the human relationship between two people who have different attitudes towards life. It is the only element in common to them. The neighbor is a very conservative person who follows routines, The purpose in fixing the wall and keeping their relationship separate is only because it is all he knows. The wall causes the speaker and his neighbor to meet every spring to repair it together. The wall in this poem represents the symbolic barriers that keep us apart yet define who we are. The winter season works against the wall every year. He cannot change his neighbor, but he still follows the tradition of his father and his grandfather. He is frightened to lose this way of life by breaking the tradition thus continuously defends this ritual
Religious Imagery
Added by: Cheesethief
This poem, to me, seems to have some strong religious imagery. The Apple orchard obviously relating to the biblical apple tree suggests that the creative man is a sinner while the pine tree seems to show the neighbor as a straitlaced conformist type. Personally I think that the neighbor is supposed to symbolize God in that he can be harsh and unaccepting to those who don't follow rules. Also I think the wall is a seperation of the spiritual and physical realms. The Creative man, representing us, seems to have a need to commune with his neighbor but can't really touch him due to his impurity and need for creativity. Lol, I know this is a long post but I had a lot of thoughts on this poem...

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