Mending Wall

Paper Rating: Word Count: 1065 Approx Pages: 4

In Robert Frost's "Mending Wall,  there is a relationship being portrayed between two men and a fence that they put up every spring. This poem consists of two characters: the narrator (poet) and his neighbor (farmer). In this poem the two neighbors are mending a stone wall that separates their property. The wall mending has been a pastime of the neighbors for many years and occurs every spring. Over the winter the wall has fallen victim to both hunters and the frozen ground and, therefore, contains gaps that must be filled. In the poem the narrator questions the sense of even mending the wall. He concludes that neither of the farms contain animals, only trees, which would be enough of a boundary. There is no physical need for the wall, so why go through the trouble of fixing it every year for no apparent reason. Although the narrator is right the ignorant neighbor insists that they mend the wall by saying "Good fences make good neighbors."(Frost 27) The neighbor repeats this saying although he doesn't know why the wall is necessary nor does he know why it will make them better neighbors. Frost is criticizing the ignorance of the neighbor here.

The difference between the poet and the farmer is evident in the way they talk to each other. There are two opposing attitudes towards keeping barriers up between people. Each neighbor has a different opinion. The dialogue that takes place shows how the poet says phrases that makes the farmer think. After the farmer tells the poet, "Good fences make good neighbors,  the poet responds by saying, "Why do fences make good neighbors. Isn't it where are cows? But here there are no cows. Before I built a wall I'd ask to know what I was walling in or walling out, and to whom I was like to give offence. (Frost 30) He says this to make the farmer to put that thought in his head and make him think. This poem shows ... Continue Reading