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Mending Wall Analysis

Author: Poetry of Robert Frost Type: Poetry Views: 28547

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North of Boston1914Something there is that doesn't love a wall,

That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,

And spills the upper boulders in the sun;

And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.

The work of hunters is another thing:

I have come after them and made repair

Where they have left not one stone on a stone,

But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,

To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean,

No one has seen them made or heard them made,

But at spring mending-time we find them there.

I let my neighbour know beyond the hill;

And on a day we meet to walk the line

And set the wall between us once again.

We keep the wall between us as we go.

To each the boulders that have fallen to each.

And some are loaves and some so nearly balls

We have to use a spell to make them balance:

"Stay where you are until our backs are turned!"

We wear our fingers rough with handling them.

Oh, just another kind of out-door game,

One on a side. It comes to little more:

There where it is we do not need the wall:

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 neighbours."

Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder

If I could put a notion in his head:

"Why do they make good neighbours? Isn't it

Where there are cows? But here there are no cows.

Before I built a wall I'd ask to know

What I was walling in or walling out,

And to whom I was like to give offence.

Something there is that doesn't love a wall,

That wants it down." I could say "Elves" to him,

But it's not elves exactly, and I'd rather

He said it for himself. I see him there

Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top

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.

He will not go behind his father's saying,

And he likes having thought of it so well

He says again, "Good fences make good neighbours."


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||| Analysis | Critique | Overview Below |||

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Okay i get the whole concept of the melding wall, but what does the part \" something there is that doesn\'t love a wall, what is the speaker meaning by that ? would it be that the neighbor doesn\'t love the wall, just was it says?

| Posted on 2013-03-26 | by a guest

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Following on the word \"mending\" in the title, perhaps the wall is like a seam that both divides and connects to properties, indeed two existences If two people grab the sleeves of a shirt and pull in opposite directions, eventually the garment will tear. Where the tear occurs will be on a seam. Thus, the strength of the shirt is equal to the strength of the seam.

| Posted on 2012-06-05 | by a guest

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You are absolutely right but the meaning of this poem is depend on the interpretation of the reader.
whatever it is we must put a limitation..to avoid conflict.

| Posted on 2012-03-10 | by a guest

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Frost\'s neighbour is secure in his isolationism, and even uses the Wall as a weapon

| Posted on 2012-03-02 | by a guest

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Can someone please help me relate Mending Wall to The Crucible by Arthur Miller. :\'(

| Posted on 2012-01-27 | by a guest

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thank u guyzz. u almost helped me pass in this exam tomorrow... also helped me to look at the theme of the poem in different angles... once again thanks u... i owe u one

| Posted on 2012-01-15 | by a guest

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This poem is basically about how we should maintain our limits at the same time to open up.. And this helps maintain better relationships that avoids the misunderstanding of one another.

| Posted on 2011-11-06 | by a guest

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The \"wall\" in way, could be an awkwardness. If you\'re paranoid, or had a fight, or a fight, and it hasn\'t fully healed, or you haven\'t gotten over it, this \"wall of awkwardness\" pops itself up. Which can block anything you want to say or mean, it blocks territory you could previously tread it, but are too afraid to. So it could also be a \"wall of fear\". Or, if the one with the grudge puts up the \"wall\" to purposely make it awkward, and in a way, lash at at he/she who the former has a grudge with. At any way at all, this wall is not good. It could cut off too people for good, ruining a wonderful friendship. Or, even worse, between the wall, the two could get increasingly paranoid about each other, and the wall could topple down into a horrible fight, which can only rebuild a higher, thick \"wall\" neither can get over. This wall can mute anything you wanna say, out of your fear of how the person on the other side will react. This wall of: silence, awkwardness, grudges, anger, and paranoia, is constantly ruining great relationships between people, two wonderful friends can turn into complete strangers or bitter enemies. All we need is some courage to break down the wall. :)

| Posted on 2011-10-30 | by a guest

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for me, the wall is used to stop unnecessary arguments between the narator and the neighbor.
BY: camille A.

| Posted on 2011-10-10 | by a guest

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Something is lonliness, the wall is seperation, the frozen ground-swell is deep sadness, the upper boulders are the need for love. (translation)loneliness there is, that does\'nt love seperation.
That sends the deep sadness to swell into ones heart,
and spills the need for love into the light.
The rest of the poem uses symbolic farming items to show that doing your mate a favour indicates practically, that you care for his needs, and that you and he can aid each other, but still respect each others need for a protected place to relax and restore, its called solitude not pitiful loneliness. for privacy

| Posted on 2011-08-06 | by a guest

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I think frost write that poem because when we say wall it means barrier that can protect everyone. He felt that his neighbor was a thief or some criminal. . he say to the last poem that Good Fences make good neighbors ,to stop any temptation to get something that is not yours// / /

| Posted on 2011-07-20 | by a guest

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hmm. exceuss me MR Md. Sohel mahmud
I think Robert frost is too old for globalization

| Posted on 2011-06-23 | by a guest

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I believe the poem shows the contrast between traditional and modern. The neighbor (traditional) wants to build a wall according to the proverb his father told him but frost doesn\'t care for one.

| Posted on 2011-05-08 | by a guest

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| Posted on 2011-05-04 | by a guest

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• Boundaries: literal, i.e. the wall between the land of the two neighbours, but also metaphorical, i.e. the social boundaries between the two.
• Routine and rituals: the way in which the wall has to be broken and then repaired in the spring, almost as a law of nature. Spring is a time of rejuvenation. This sense of inevitability that the wall will break, but the quasi-mysterious way in which it does; “Elves.”
• The force of nature destroying the wall: “The frozen ground-swell under it, and spills the upper boulders in the sun”  the “boulder” is not supposed to be moved, demonstrating the power of nature.
• “ ‘Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, That wants it down.’ I could say ‘Elves’ to him,” Frost is arguing that the wall is unnatural, hence nature consistently breaks this man-made boundary. He is mocking his neighbour with the suggestion that maybe it’s “Elves” breaking the wall, almost as if his friend is in denial that the boundary is unnecessary and unnatural.
• “He is all pine and I am apple orchard”  They are different types of people, and so probably would not mix anyway, so there is no need for the wall. Furthermore, due to their different trees, it is evident whose land is whose, and so there is no need for the wall.
• “Some are loaves and some so nearly balls, We have to use a spell to make them balance.”  This emphasises the precarious nature of the wall, and the inevitability that it will fall by next Spring, but it is a ritual and a social occasion. Hence the poetic voice almost wants the wall to fall, so as to continue the ritual “Stay…until our backs are turned.”
• Likening the reparation of the wall as a game, that opposes the neighbours against one another: “another kind of outdoor game, One on a side.”
• The stone is not only a tool, but a weapon, in that it can kill. This idea of it as a destructive force bolsters the view that this man-made boundary is unnatural, and will simply separate the two neighbours  “like an old-stone savage armed.”
• The poem is in essence a debate as to the necessity of having walls.
 The poetic voice, likely to be Frost’s opinion, argues that the wall is a negative and unnatural boundary: nature destroys it, it will inevitably fall again, there is no need to outline a specific line since they have different wildlife, and the boundary simply restricts their social interaction. It illustrates the boundaries of human interaction, in that we socially restrict ourselves, limiting both the risk of social failure but also the likelihood of friendship.
 The neighbour however insists that “Good fences make good neighbours.” This is the idea that with limited social interaction the two will not be able to annoy one another, keeping the relationship neutral, almost like a safe option (as opposed to Frost’s idea which allows for a much more intimate relationship which could lead to a very good one or a very bad one.) Also, the process of repairing the wall is in itself a bonding exercise for the neighbours and so is a positive thing. He might also say that walls are part of nature, that require Spring rejuvenation just like plants and other wildlife.
Josh B

| Posted on 2011-05-01 | by a guest

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You are ostensibly wrong, a wall means a fence in its literally meaning but according to this poem, it may mean a \"barrier\" either between two cultures, or two different social classes not just between two neighbors!! that is exactly what makes this poem always up to date. Robert, being the narrator who speaks in this poem, is sarcastically complaining about this matter using poetic devices as irony, personification, sarcasm, satire etc..
By Amine

| Posted on 2011-03-23 | by a guest

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i feel that the poem tells us that walls are needed sometimes.
we should learn to open up to the world and break down the barriers.but at the same time we should respect others feeling about wallsmaybe they feel comfortable with the wallsnot everyone thinks the same way...
i gotta test tomoorow on this poem and all the comments have really hepled me understand this poem
thanx everyboby!!! :)

| Posted on 2011-03-23 | by a guest

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Mending Wall is about respecting rights and property of our neighbors. The wall, originally built by the land owners as they cleared their fields for their crops, was naturally on the agreed upon property line or limit. It was more a respected boundary than a device to keep something in or out. As land is passed from one generation to another, there may not be a clear understanding of the property limit, were it not for the wall. The wall avoids unnecessary arguments.

| Posted on 2011-03-05 | by a guest

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any page that i can get info for my analysis paper can help...sparknotes...google of any page will do...i\'m not picky in my research teachniques...just want to get this paper done and move onto the next paper

| Posted on 2011-02-15 | by a guest

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any page that i can get info for my analysis paper can help...sparknotes...google of any page will do...i\'m not picky in my research teachniques...just want to get this paper done and move onto the next paper

| Posted on 2011-02-15 | by a guest

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This poem is about the fence (mending wall) bulit between frost and his neighbor, which is associated with spring time, as that is the time it gets reparied. Frost does not see how the wall is useful, therefore think it\'s unecessary and lists a few reason why, such as annoying to repair etc. However the neighbor replies \"good fences make good neighbor\'s\", this is the only thing which the neighbor states. By this he means that the fence sets the boundaries between the two neighbors. It gives them privavcy and the rights to do their own things with out disruptions and fights.Frost respects his neighbor and uses this \"creative\" move to set the wall.

| Posted on 2011-02-12 | by a guest

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The Neighbor has an odd desire to ameliorate what he perceives as destroyed in the world, in this case, the wall.
The Narrator\'s comments, however, suggests that the Narrator is, perhaps, a more liberal, modern thinking character.
I thoroughly agree with a select few of the above statements; both characters represent human emotions.
Human existence has no order or meaning, just tangibility. The true meaning of rationality is very difficult to grasp, just as human emotions are. Humans are dynamic characters; we find ourselves in constant, indecisive situations. One might say, \"The wall is necessary, for security, for privacy.\" Just as another might say, \"A home is for protection, for privacy. What about the wall is necessary?\" However, all of us will find ourselves, at one point in time, considering both options to be rational.

| Posted on 2011-02-08 | by a guest

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The most important line of the poem is \"There is something that dosent love a wall\" Frost brings to mind two great motivaters of humans: love and fear.

| Posted on 2011-02-03 | by a guest

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No two people ever think alike. Can you imagine their properties having no boundaries? There would likely be disputes over what is mine, and what is yours. The wall or the fence left no dispute, and even if they would have been extreme in their views of life, the wall brought them together on a regular basis, and they shared a common goal. The hunters tear them down in total disregard of how hard the two property owners had work to maintain the wall. A passing reference to greed and disrespect, which is still prevalent in today\'s world. Tradition is also very important to the one neighbor, whose father had passed down to him a wise, tested and true practice, that good fences, make good neighbors.and unattended, they fall over time, on their own. The Messenger

| Posted on 2011-01-29 | by a guest

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This poem was written during a period in his life that he had lost his son, his mother, and his daughter. It is not a literal thing. As in most all of Frosts poems he uses nature imagery for symbloism into something else. He is not a literal type of poet in any kind of way.

| Posted on 2010-12-12 | by a guest

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Mending Wall truly causes the mind to go in many different directions as this poem is considered. Although the speaker challenges why it is necessary to build this wall, the speaker is the one that went to inform the neighbor that it\'s mending wall time! Maybe the speaker loved the wall as well, because it was something he was more familiar with, but yet his words suggest that he has at least pondered the need for the walls continuous existence, especially since there was no lifestock that needed to be fenced in. I also find it stimulating to think about how even nature itself seems to challenge the need for this wall, as well as the hunters, that remove rocks in order to continue the chase of the rabbit. In this poem, I see two individuals, one not even considering the need for any kind of change or compromise because \"good fences make good neighbors\" and another individual contemplating the potential for doing things differently, but only in his mind, being that he continues to assist in repairing the wall while yet sharing some of his thoughts about why the wall is needed.

| Posted on 2010-12-01 | by a guest

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I don\'t think it\'s important to ask what Frost was thinking, but rather what it makes us think about. I have a love of the land I occupy and am constantly trying to (1) improve it by planting, grooming and working; and (2) protecting it from intrusion by others. This poem helps me understand why I do what I do when I\'m not out in the world dealing with others. A home is a refuge. We all have one and need one, and it requires constant attention.

| Posted on 2010-11-25 | by a guest

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Personally I agree with the majority of you.
The wall is the heart of the poem. This is represented initially in the title: \"Mending Wall\". It is wrong to think of the poem as just \"mending a wall\", but we should think more laterally and discuss why it is \"mending wall\"... the wall mends the relationship between the narrator and the neighbour, and represents the differences between the old ways, tradition (the neighbour is described as a stone-age savage and travels in shadow, the past is often considered dark) conversely the narrator sees no need for a wall, suggesting the old ways are dead, just as nature wants the wall to be, and the world to be united.
However, it seems odd that frost would completely advocate the lack of walls, as walls are also the basis for creativity, pushing boundaries and being creative with the materials available. Frost himself does this within his poems, he constantly took the creative process involved in engaging the poetic form (the rules, tradition, and boundaries—the walls—of the poetic world) and making it distinctly his own.

| Posted on 2010-11-21 | by a guest

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Frost wants to keep some things to himself. He doesn\'t want a nosy neighbor coming over every day and asking him \"What\'s up?\"

| Posted on 2010-11-21 | by a guest

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I think this poem presents an eternal conflict, between intimacy and alienation. It also presents the conflict between old fashioned traditional ways and newer ways of interacting. It doesn\'t attempt to solve the conflict with an easy answer but allows the reader to ponder on it him or herself. Most of us can see the sense in Frost\'s first person argument in favor of less wall, less mindless traditional, more friendliness. But we can also see the need for barriers, privacy and boundaries and the common sense represented by traditions that have lasted a long time. Frost allows both to exist and the interactions of these points of view, symbolized by the annual rebuilding of the wall and the commentary, is the main point of the poem.

| Posted on 2010-11-17 | by a guest

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Im a gr12 learner in Brits im trying to understand the poem an what the true message is, i think this poem shows us how we all liv today, we forget to respect eachother by using all kinds of excuses!

| Posted on 2010-11-10 | by a guest

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this poem is good for other to keep good relation...

| Posted on 2010-11-01 | by a guest

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i think this poem is good for other to keep good relation...

| Posted on 2010-11-01 | by a guest

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This poem is beatuiful. I\'m writing a research paper on Frost and I had many differnt topics to choose about him, but I chose to write the themes of the \"Mending Wall.\"

| Posted on 2010-10-27 | by a guest

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Obviously. Frost had his own reason for penning this poem, however, I believe it may contain more than one message.
The regularity in repairing the wall may symbolize the constant effort involved in maintaining a relationship.
It may also have a social aspect for the two people who meet regularly, using the wall as an excuse to interact.
There is a poignant thread running through the entire poem, which leaves most of us at a loss to know exctly what Frost really meant. M.M

| Posted on 2010-10-25 | by a guest

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i personaly, think this is about the poet does not like the relationship that he has with his neighbour, \"There where it is we do not need the wall\" but because his neighbour is liking his fathers saying \"good fence make good wall\" he is therefore forcing his other neighbour to do that, hence the song that they sing as they mand \"stay where you are until our backs are turned\" even though the dogs/hunters are doing bad things i.e. breaking the fence but they at least make the neighbours meet, coz that is the only time they meet to mend the \'gap\' which by the gap i say he is referring to the gap btwn his neighbour and him. well just my thoughts and observations.
had to write this for my unisa exams, didn\'t know until the paper was given.

| Posted on 2010-10-25 | by a guest

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The poem I think is about setting appropriate boundaries and only allowing healthy people in your life and not just any old fool that comes along. Good fences make good neighbors mean you can pick and choose who comes through your gate. Like halt who goes there. You should allow only healthy people and not just invite sick people in your world when you are not well yourself. Maybe the sick are the well and the well are the sick. The hunters are the Vikings, or the uncivilized, untame, or uncouth people who manage to get beyond the barriers and slip through the wall and turn our world upside down. In our spring years or when we are green we sometimes makes mistakes and allow any old fool to penetrate our walls. We live to regret it and then we are reminded that good fences make good neighbors.

| Posted on 2010-10-21 | by a guest

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i think that the wall is symboliing the way he is having sex with his neighbors maybe an affair even that... ilove micheal jackson and i love try songz cause thay both are sexy ass helll and i love them and he way they make me fee.

| Posted on 2010-10-06 | by a guest

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The description of the act of mending that catches my attention most - \" Oh, just another kind of out-door game, One on a side. It comes to little more \"
Seems to support the suggestion that the mending process is simply an excuse to develope a friendship between neighbors.

| Posted on 2010-09-16 | by a guest

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There is the traditional, practical, and concrete view that the wall should be mended because it always has been, perhaps to keep cows in or for some other reason, but primarily at this point because that is simply the way things are done. There is the other view that is newer, questioning and perhaps a bit unshapen, which suggests this may be futile and somewhat impractical endever. The irony of course is that the wall is the centerpiece for both. Life is messy, lots of questions, few answers, but lived with some structure and some sharing.

| Posted on 2010-09-03 | by a guest

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