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Analysis and comments on Mending Wall by Robert Frost

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Comment 34 of 244, added on September 28th, 2005 at 5:18 PM.

This poem has 3 meanings. I think the whole poem is symbol of American
Isolationism during the beginning of WWI (being written in 1914 when WWI
began). Each line has a literal meaning (an actual wall), a deeper meaning
(the personal thoughts involved with personal walls) and a symbollic
meaning (the holes in the wall being previous disputes with other involved
countries).

Allison from United States
Comment 33 of 244, added on September 28th, 2005 at 1:49 PM.

I completely agree with most concepts on this poem - about social
segregation and division of relationships, but when analysing this poem,
two things puzzle me - what is the importance of the hunters and the
elves?!

Susan from United Kingdom
Comment 32 of 244, added on September 26th, 2005 at 12:24 PM.

"He will not go behind his father's saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well
He says again, 'Good fences make good neighbors.'"

The problem is that the neighbor has not thought of it at all; he simply
repeats what his father told him, whose father told him, etc. In short, he
has taken an adage for truth without really looking into the validity of
it.

In that way we build walls around us--walls of ignorance because we do not
take the time to look at our actions and values in the open light.

Frost shows this ignorance by painting the neighbor in this way:

"I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me--
Not of woods only and the shade of trees."

It is the darkness of ignorance. It is the darkness caused by walls
without meaning, the ignorance of not thinking for ourselves what is right
and what is wrong, the ignorance of "old-stone" savages who corral their
ideas and lives into neat little pens, who fail to contemplate their own
lives.


Kent
Comment 31 of 244, added on September 22nd, 2005 at 4:28 AM.

I think you may lack knowledge of Frost's great sense of humor. He is
playing with us a good time."before I built a wall I ....to know to whom I
gave offense. If you've ever been to Boston you know the ground is all
stone and bolders. To clear a small patch for growing takes a mighty
effort and so almost 100% of the homes and farms are surrounded by these
bolders..you know "put them over there temporarily." But Frost uses this
situation to make you think about "your father's words" and maybe you can
make some charitable changes of your own. debbie dee

debbie dee from United States
Comment 30 of 244, added on September 19th, 2005 at 6:55 AM.

I think Roberts brain is, "frosted" just like his poems. Can't his poems
get any better. My view is that the neighbour is a homosexual.

Abdullah from Iran
Comment 29 of 244, added on September 15th, 2005 at 7:24 PM.

Oops... Sorry everyone, I've found my answer, and sorry for posting that.

I agree with most people that this poem is enjoyable and fun. It hit me
when I finally read it correctly. I'm glad I understood its meaning.

invisi from United States
Comment 28 of 244, added on September 15th, 2005 at 7:16 PM.

this should be easy for you people that know how to properly analyze this
poem.... How does the neighbor feel about the wall? please
help....me...please...

I thought that the neighbor felt secure and happy about having a wall
because it "makes good neighbors", but i'm not sure...

invisi from United States
Comment 27 of 244, added on September 7th, 2005 at 12:57 AM.

I think this poem requires deep thought and understanding for you to be
able to know the meaning of it. It tells us about the wall collapsing, by
nature, and by hunters and the two neighbours mending the wall at
springtime each mend the part of the wall which the stone has fallen down
to. They never cross to the other person's side but the narrator doesn't
believe they need a wall.

Albert C from Australia
Comment 26 of 244, added on July 8th, 2005 at 12:52 AM.

Nature may have no need for walls, but men and countries do. It is part of
our nature to set boundaries for ourselves and what we believe in.
Mexico's Presidente Fox would benefit from re-reading this poem.

Terry Berg from United States
Comment 25 of 244, added on July 1st, 2005 at 6:39 PM.

The speaker of the poem clearly dislikes the wall - he doesn't see the need
for a barrier between his neighbor and him. His neighbor finds use for the
wall in keeping their relationship on a particular level - the mending of
the wall reminds them that they must actively work to keep each other
separate. Frost comments on the nature of humans with the mention of gaps
regularly forming in the wall - it is not a human tendency to isolate
oneself from others, and not a naturally occurring thing - the wall breaks
down over time and must be actively mended. The wall is not necessarily
physical, but metaphorical - relationships cannot always remain the same
with the passage of time. Circumstances change and with them the nature of
the relationship, for better or worse. To fight change is futile because
it will always come back, as the gaps in the wall do. The neighbor follows
his father's maxim, believing it to be true, because he does not want to
accept change - hence his following his father's words and not what he
perhaps wants, which may or may not fall in with his father's tendencies.


Will gladly answer (polite) responses to this comment through e-mail. I
must also point out that this poem is most emphatically not about the Cold
War - Robert Frost died in 1963.

Allison from United States

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Information about Mending Wall

Poet: Robert Frost
Poem: 1. Mending Wall
Volume: North of Boston
Year: 1914
Added: Feb 1 2004
Viewed: 115 times
Poem of the Day: Jul 13 2000


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