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Mending Wall

3 Pages 673 Words

“Mending Wall” by Robert Frost assesses the relationship between two neighbors who join in the annual refurbishing of the stone wall that separates their land. The culprit of the damage is evident and mysterious. Repairs caused by intruding hunters are made often, so the responsible force remains unclear. The narrator mentions the “something there is that doesn’t love a wall, that wants it down.” This “something” is unidentified and unexplained, which leaves the reader to his imagination Frost uses the imagery of the wall to depict man’s separation from man and nature. The poem illustrates two diverse characters with profound differences in their perception of what the wall represents. He offers no answer regarding who’s right or wrong, but again, a plethora of room for one’s own interpretation.
The mischievous narrator tells the story of himself and his neighbor getting together each spring to mend holes that appeared in the wall. He describes these holes as “gaps even two can pass abreast.” He owns an apple orchard and finds himself questioning the purpose of the wall since there aren’t any cows to keep from eating his apples. He doesn’t quite understand what they are “walling in or walling out.” He has a playful notion in his mind when he suggests that it was elves they should keep out. He also adds humor by saying that his apples couldn’t cross the property line to eat his neighbors' pinecones. Regardless of these playful thoughts, the narrator truly wants to build a friendship rather than rebuild what he feels is a barrier to it. He doesn’t want to keep the old wall because he believes that it serves no modern purpose and acts as a barrier that stops a man’s quest to connect with nature and mankind itself.
The neighbor has a completely different perception of what the stone wall represents. He relies on traditional wisdom that was passed down from his father. Twice in the poe...

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