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Mending Wall Analysis

            Robert Frost's "Mending Wall," written in a third person point-of-view, is at the surface merely a description of two neighbors who repair a wall that separates their property. The poem opens with the line, "something there is that doesn't love a wall" (line 1). The narrator, though curious, states that Mother Nature is that "something" who makes the "frozen-ground-swell" and "spills upper boulders." As the poem continues, it is evident that the wall, not only having a physical implication of separation, also holds an emotional significance. The wall is in fact a manifestation of the emotional barricade that separates the neighbors - a representation of how societal groups are unwilling and incapable of living without the constraints of boundaries and walls and yet even some that have lived within those norms, are capable of realizing that people should be able to coexist without walls and boundaries. .
             The neighbor continues to the broken wall because it is easier to build a wall rather than create a new relationship. Even as they both build the wall, "[They] keep the wall between [them] as [they] go" (line 15). The neighbor's intention still is to separate the two. Unlike mending a wall, constructing a relationship with a stranger is not merely a seasonal task. Within a relationship, there must be compassion, compromise, and a constant effort of positive interaction. Although mending a wall involves the use of much physical energy, creating a relationship takes emotional energy and endless effort that can be more constraining on a person. Thus the neighbor's reason for wanting to mend the wall every spring is that it's easier than having a relationship with the narrator.
             The narrator continues to mend the wall each spring in order to maintain some level of interaction with the neighbor, and to challenge the neighbor as to why the wall must be maintained. The neighbor's response to the narrator is simple: "Good fences make good neighbors" (line 27).

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