Poetry essay on "Mending Wall" by Robert Frost

Essay by arschelUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, April 2004

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In the "Mending Wall" by Robert Frost, a story is told of two neighbors who meet annually

to repair a fence that separates their properties. The wall in this poem is much more

than just a physical barrier between two estates, it can be viewed as an emotional or

psychological barrier as well. This wall can also be seen as a metaphor for the

relationship between the speaker and his neighbor.

It is human tendency to want to have boundaries between oneself and

others. These walls are often an unconscious separation from others. Yet there is a

contradiction in that man also desires to have close relations to their acquaintances. The

poem begins by stating that" Something there is that doesn't love a wall, That sends the

frozen-ground-swell under it". Some unseen force seems to tear the wall down just as

man isn't always able to distance himself from others.

These gaps appear even

though "No one has seen them made or heard them made, But at spring mending-time

we find them there."

The speaker in "Mending Wall" contacts his neighbor each year to "meet to

walk the line And set the wall between us once again." Ironically, as the neighbors meet,

and try to build a wall between themselves physically, they begin to work with each other

and have the potential to bring down the emotional barrier they intend to recreate.

When the two neighbors meet, the speakers states that "We keep the wall

between us as we go", and "We wear our fingers rough with handling them". The use of

the word "we" seems to show that there is cooperation between the neighbors, almost as

if they become a team. This team effort can be further realized as the speaker

compares the building of the wall to...