Mending Wall Symbolism

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About this sample


Words: 524 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Mar 20, 2024

Words: 524|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Mar 20, 2024

Table of contents

  1. The Wall as a Symbol of Division
  2. The Wall as a Symbol of Tradition and Change
  3. Conclusion

Robert Frost's poem "Mending Wall" is rich in symbolism, as the poet uses various elements to convey deeper meanings and themes. One of the key symbols in the poem is the wall itself, which represents barriers and divisions between individuals, as well as the tension between tradition and change. Through an analysis of the symbolism in "Mending Wall," we can gain a deeper understanding of the poem and its themes.

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The Wall as a Symbol of Division

One of the most prominent symbols in the poem is the wall that the two neighbors are mending. The wall serves as a physical barrier between the speaker and his neighbor, representing the division and separation between them. Frost describes the wall as "something there is that doesn't love a wall," indicating that the speaker questions the need for such a barrier between them. The act of mending the wall each year becomes a ritual that perpetuates the division between the two individuals, highlighting the idea of unnecessary separation and isolation.

Furthermore, the wall becomes a symbol of the barriers that exist between people in general. Frost explores the idea of human nature's inclination to create and maintain barriers, both physical and metaphorical. The wall symbolizes the divisions and conflicts that arise between individuals, communities, and nations, reflecting the universal human tendency to build walls rather than bridges.

The Wall as a Symbol of Tradition and Change

In addition to representing division, the wall in "Mending Wall" also symbolizes the tension between tradition and change. The neighbor's mantra "Good fences make good neighbors" reflects a traditional belief in the importance of boundaries and separation. The neighbor is committed to preserving the wall and the tradition of mending it, emphasizing the value of maintaining boundaries and upholding established norms.

On the other hand, the speaker questions the necessity of the wall and challenges the tradition of mending it. He expresses skepticism about the purpose of the wall, wondering "What I was walling in or walling out." This reflects a desire for change and a questioning of the status quo, as the speaker seeks to challenge the traditional beliefs and practices associated with the wall.

Thus, the wall serves as a symbol of the tension between tradition and change, highlighting the conflict between preserving established boundaries and challenging them to embrace new perspectives and possibilities.


Through the symbolism of the wall in "Mending Wall," Robert Frost explores themes of division, tradition, and change. The wall serves as a powerful symbol of the barriers that exist between individuals and the tension between maintaining established boundaries and embracing new perspectives. By delving into the deeper meanings behind the wall, we can gain a deeper understanding of the poem and its exploration of human nature and relationships.

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In conclusion, "Mending Wall" is a rich and complex poem that uses symbolism to convey deeper meanings and themes. The wall emerges as a potent symbol of division, tradition, and change, inviting readers to reflect on the universal human tendencies to create barriers and the tensions between preserving established norms and embracing new possibilities.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Mending Wall Symbolism. (2024, March 20). GradesFixer. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
“Mending Wall Symbolism.” GradesFixer, 20 Mar. 2024,
Mending Wall Symbolism. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 26 May 2024].
Mending Wall Symbolism [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Mar 20 [cited 2024 May 26]. Available from:
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