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Contrasting Forces In Frost's“Mending Wall“

4 Pages 1049 Words

Contradicting Forces in Frost’s “Mending Wall”

In examining the literary career of Robert Frost, one is able to recognize reoccurring themes that appear throughout many of his poems. Frequently, each individual statement corresponds to a designated time period of personal discovery in the life of the poet. While writing his second book, When North of Boston, during the sensitive WW1 era, Frost found solace in writing about a certain human condition. According to Elaine Barry, his work “focus[ed] [on] the constant tension of opposing elements, which Frost saw as the essence of the human condition” (Barry 1). It is certainly realistic to assume that the reason why Frost wrote using this particular theme is because it comforted him to believe that there are natural contradicting forces in all life experiences.
The poem “Mending Wall” is open for discussion on many levels of interpretation. To the negligent reader, the poem primarily represents the opposing arguments of two farmers on the subject of property boundaries. Underneath the shallow surface, the poem emerges as a statement about contradictions of human relations through which attitude toward community, property barriers, and wisdom are explained (Meyer 2). Frost’s statement about the differences between the two men is humorous because he makes it possible for the reader to find disagreement between the actions and intentions of the men involved in this relatively trivial incident (Meyer 3). In the end, Frost leaves the conflict unresolved. He neither provides outward moral to the reader nor insight into the “something there is that doesn’t love a wall.” By doing this, his effect on the reader evokes deeper contemplation because the situation is a realistic human experience (Barry 4).
In analyzing the socially cooperative effort of repairing the weather torn wall, the first contradiction found in the beliefs of the two farmers is on the subj...

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