Literary Analysis of Mending Wall by Robert Frost

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About this sample


Words: 1394 |

Pages: 3|

7 min read

Published: May 14, 2021

Words: 1394|Pages: 3|7 min read

Published: May 14, 2021

I cannot talk about whether Frost was very good with the shovel in the field, but only with the pen in his hands. Robert Frost conceived his poem Mending Wall in his time as a farmer, on the occasions when he met his neighbor to repair the stone wall that divided the properties of both. I have chosen this valuable genuine and beautiful work because it shows us the simple of the author but at the same time his attitude of social activist. His mind transports us with everything that happens today with the borders of many countries, to be able to write this poem in 1914 Robert Frost had a futuristic vision and left the path already sown for future social and political activists of what would come to happen.

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The Mending wall poem demonstrates Robert Lee Frost's simultaneous command of the lyric verse, dramatic conversation, and ironic commentary. First the narrator of the poem begins by saying that there is something, a force that is greater than himself and that can make the wall. Collapsing, such a force does not secure that wall, it is a force that has a convex shape, quoted as a bulge - a part that is rounded or bent, and not flat enough to support the wall. “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, that sends the frozen-ground-swell under it”. He goes on to mention that such an unknown thing makes holes, citing the size of the holes and saying that even two people can pass each other, a passage that clarifies that two people who were separated by the wall can come together, come together”. As we can see Robert Lee Frost was a man who lived in the country life and as a poet portrayed this in his poems, this is what we realize in “The Work of Hunters is another thing where they have left not a stone on a stone, but they would have the rabbit out of hiding, so please the yelping dogs”

Where the narrator quotes the work of hunters, which is very common in their social environment, speaking of perfection from their work, where they build perfect walls without dropping a stone, leaving no gaps, yet without anyone knowing how it happened and who did it, where the force commented by the narrator is acting and causing openings that leave the hare unprotected to the satisfaction of the dogs, and he doesn't know who broke the wall to make the breaches. From the passage “I let my neighbor know beyond the hill and on a day we meet to walk the line and set the wall between us once again” the narrator tells of his neighbor, comments that one day along the line of his life he will find this neighbor and fix the gap in the wall that divides both and will keep that wall without gaps, but for the repair of this wall there are stones that are easy and others very difficult to stand. They are shaped like a ball that makes it leave the wall unrepaired, so this passage shows the difficulty that exists to repair the wall between two people and that we often need magic so that the wall remains without breaches that is not looking at the wall, give it no mind, giving it time until one day it resolves to come back and fix past breaches.

Repairing this wall requires some effort to manipulate it, your fingers are rough to fix and maintain it, and this repair is like an outdoor game where one is on either side. The narration proceeds even further, citing now the differences that exist between them and the narrator states that this prevents him from approaching his neighbor, bringing together in this passage a reflection of what the neighbor says “Good fences make good neighbors”. Concluding the conflict between them, because they are only good neighbors because there is a good fence that divides the space of each one and limits the individualities and freedom of each person. “He is all pine and I am apple orchard, my apple trees will never get across and eat the cones under his pines, I tell him. He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbors.' This reflection is also questioned by the narrator, he interlocuters with the reader asking: 'Why do they make good neighbors?'

Demonstrating a wish, he says that before building any wall he would want to know what he could include and what he could exclude so as not to offend anyone, because there is something, a force he does not know that wants the wall on the floor. The narrator says that what exists is a kind of magic, quoted as 'goblins' - something that does not exist, which is in the imagination, but says it cannot be imaginary and prefers that its own neighbor tell itself the answer. At the end of the poem the narrator appears angry with his neighbor, he is seeing his neighbor there clutching the stones firmly to the top of the wall in an attempt to fix it and the narrator realizes that by his neighbor's attitude he will not follow the his father's advice, he will not listen to the wisdom of the ancients and will continue to build the division between two people, making it difficult for them to reach and approach them, and will keep repeating. “Good fences make good neighbors,”

Establishing a wall to make their neighbors something good. The poem has as its central theme the purpose that humans have and the value they establish in the construction and segregation of walls, barriers in their lives, also brings two seemingly conflicting ideas present in. “Something there is that doesn't love a wall” and “good fences make good neighbors” means that there is something you don't like about the wall, which may still be your neighbor, but then your neighbor's talk. “Good fences make good neighbors' reveals that it was good having built this wall because it made his neighbor a good person, the isolation between them made him see that he was good, because if they came together they would see the flaws and the differences and would not find the qualities and would not be a good person, so that wall is needed.

The poem, when speaking of walls, establishes a very clear metaphor, as it refers to the various divisions established by human beings in the world. It shows real and metaphorical walls, representing, for example, as metaphorical walls the social differences that are established in society by men generating discrimination against people of low income and lower classes, the most common forms of social differences are with race, sex, economic power and religion. We also have prejudice, which is an attitude or idea formed in advance and without any reasonable foundation, it is an unfavorable judgment in relation to various social objects, which may be people, cultures, so there is a division between one person and another due to false judgments. Another example of metaphorical wall is revealed in territorial divisions, we have the wall between Israel and the West Bank, where the Israelites allude that this wall brings them security and coexistence among their own race, without taking into account the integrity of the Palestinians, which in some Villages like Bardalla, as if to mend some, in the north of the Jordan Valley, where soldiers have not only collapsed houses to move the wall but to cut off the water supply without imagining that the most affected by the lack of water are the children.

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In conclusion, the poem does not opt for any option, but irony does show us the lack of dialogue of the unsupportive society in which we live. The insistence on the walls makes us cavemen and goes back to the Stone Age. The president of the US wants a wall to be built on the border of Mexico. Rather, he wants to continue the construction of the wall that Bill Clinton ordered to be built in 1994 and that with presidents Bush and Obama was lengthening a little, without thinking about the impact on the wildlife of those areas. Robert Frost could not conceive the construction of walls between neighbors, given his high sense of morality and love towards others.

Works cited

  1. Frost, Robert. “Mending Wall by Robert Frost.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation,
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Literary Analysis Of Mending Wall By Robert Frost. (2021, May 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 15, 2024, from
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