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Analysis and comments on Mending Wall by Robert Frost

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Comment 60 of 290, added on May 4th, 2009 at 7:18 PM.

In Robert Frost's "Mending Wall" he uses many different writing techniques
such as: imagery, dialogue, foreshadowing and metaphors. He uses imagery
all throughout the poem, describing something so vividly that it creates a
mental picture for the reader. Frost uses dialogue when talking about how
his neighbor repeatedly says "Good fences make good neighbors," and how the
narrator replies. Frost also uses foreshadowing when he talks about how his
apple trees will never get across the wall, and it hints that the poem is
talking about barriers between neighbors and their land. when the author
uses metaphors, he is comparing different things like the bricks that make
the wall and compared to loaves of bread and balls. Robert Frost had
someone in his life who he considered an "arch enemy" who was Carl
Sandburg, another poet who used free verse. So even though "Mending Wall"
talks about taking down barriers, the author still has barriers he decides
to keep built up.

Shawnee Self from United States
Comment 59 of 290, added on April 28th, 2009 at 10:01 PM.

In the first line of the narrative poem, “Mending Wall”, Robert Frost puts
an emphasis on the word “something”, and with the use of his
personification, that “something” becomes alive and takes on a human
meaning. Behind his literal portrayal of building up a wall, there is an
extended metaphoric meaning that is meant to reflect the barriers that our
society puts such a great emphasis on. His repetition of “Good fences make
good neighbors” (Frost 27) further proves this theory. Frost uses imagery
in describing the literal and visual deterioration of the wall throughout
the first few lines of his poem. He continues using metaphors, such as,
“some are loaves and some so nearly balls” (Frost 40) to describe the
altercations between the narrator and the neighbor. Frost also incorporates
similes into his poetic technique, such as his description of the neighbor,
“like an old-stone savage” (Frost 17), or one who is stubborn.

Katie Cleveland from United States
Comment 58 of 290, added on June 4th, 2008 at 5:24 AM.

Frost is only humorously challenging the idea of maintaining walls, his
eyes twinkling in elvin mischief at his neighbor whom he would never utter
such thoughts to aloud; he knows as well as the next clay-footer that they
are indeed necessary just in order to keep the fields free of stones for
the plows.

Comment 57 of 290, added on June 4th, 2008 at 4:24 AM.

What Frost is trying to say in this poem is that walls don't make good
neighbors; walls are unnecessary. Many may disagree, but if the poem is
read in-depth, it is obvious that Frost does not condone mending walls
between people. The beginning of the poem makes the speaker seem like he's
ok with the wall. That's actually just because he's following
tradition-he's not thinking individually. The speaker meets up with his
neighbor to repair the wall and the neighbor says, "Good fences make good
neighbors." The speaker then is able to start thinking about the actual
purpose of the wall/fence. It doesn't really do anything except keep the
neighbors apart or keep in livestock (which is not present). The speaker
likens the neighbor to a savage, making him appear old-fashioned and
traditional. The neighbor keeps true to the beliefs held by his father and
repeats, "Good fences make good neighbors."

The main theme of this poem is to question traditions. The fence (wall)
divides the neighbors and alienates them from each other--not exactly a
"good neighbor" in itself. From the way the speaker likens the neighbor to
a savage, it is obvious that the speaker thinks the neighbor is in the
wrong when he believes in mending walls. The fence/wall represents old
traditions, especially traditions that are actually bad for society. Frost
is sending a message to the readers that we should do away with this "wall"
and commit to new ideas which will benefit human relations. However, the
pessimistic message he also sends us is contained in the last three lines.
The neighbor remains faithful to his father's tradition and continues
thinking well of fences. This represents humans' conformity. Most people
are susceptible to traditional views and thus are hard to change. Frost is
negatively saying that most of the time, no matter how bad the tradition
is, people still refuse to accept change.

Charlie from United States
Comment 56 of 290, added on April 3rd, 2008 at 5:14 PM.

just to clarify what Nick in comment 50 said: this poem is not about the
Berlin Wall. It is often interpreted like that but this poem was written in
1914, which was before the Berlin wall was constructed.

Mansi from United States
Comment 55 of 290, added on December 20th, 2007 at 1:29 AM.

Mending Wall is one of the poems that I'm studying in IB this year. The
poem starts out with the ambiguous "Something there is that doesn't love a
wall". Frost ponders why there's something in him, perhaps in all humans
that doesn't like walls. Yet the irony is that he contacted his neighbor "I
let my neighbor know beyond the hill" to fix the wall. Frost is the one
that instigates this fixing of the wall. He also mocks his neighbor a bit,
repeating "good fences make good neighbors", as if the man is very stubborn
and determined to fix the fence. Also, Frost's neighbor seems to be
ignorant or simplistic, perhaps even primitive. The neighbor is described
to be "like an old-stone savage". Yet, at the very end of the poem, Frost
seems to come to the realization that fences, though he may not like them,
are necessary because they give people a sense of security. The end of the
poem is much darker than the rest of the poem, and Frost seems to see that
there may be a part of his neighbor that he, too, would like to keep away
from him, as shown by,

"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 seems that his neighbor can appear dangerous as well, and Frost ends
with his neighbor's statement, "Good fences make good neighbors". In short,
the fence is what physically keeps the two neighbors apart, but also brings
them together each spring to mend it once again.

I. Lao from United States
Comment 54 of 290, added on November 4th, 2007 at 9:37 AM.

this poem presnts two views, 1) why do walls make good neighbors? and 2)why
dont walls make good neighbors? This is the typical writing style of Robert
Frost, he presents a conflict then ask the reader to create his/her own
solution. in this poem i think that
creating the wall maintains friendship, from a metaphorical point of view
the walls can be seen as the personal barriers which we build up to maitain
a relationship with our peers, that is it is not everything we do that we
want our friends to know about hence we create secrets,diaries et cetera
to keep 'things'away.From the other view point i think robert is trying to
pose why should we do this?(that is create barriers) Dont we love one

navare harriott from Jamaica
Comment 53 of 290, added on June 10th, 2007 at 5:41 PM.

i had to do this assignment in english, and we had to pick a poem and this
is the poem i picked cuz i really liked it

bob from Canada
Comment 52 of 290, added on May 28th, 2007 at 5:31 PM.

three main element silent ,uncommunication and the absurdity of nature
,there is a one part conversation ,which may also signify fear and menace

youssef from Morocco
Comment 51 of 290, added on May 25th, 2007 at 1:59 AM.

In this poem I believe that Frost is describig a wall that seperates two
neigbors. they have no communication between each other and can't see or
speack to each other. I do believe that there are walls soemtimes in todays
world. Between, what ethnisity you are, social class, or even in high
school the cliques. "The Wall" pervents us from having any friendships
build or and other kind of relashonships.

Christine Fissella 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: 514 times
Poem of the Day: Jul 13 2000

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