Analysis of Mending Wall I picked Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall”. I really liked this poem, its simple, fun to read and involves many different ideas. What is so important about mending a wall though? Robert Frost is a down to earth, poet who has used his supernatural skills to write a poem which seems to be a simple, ordinary poem, yet what lays hidden beneath the surface may be unraveled.
Believe it or not this poem was expertly written by Robert Frost to articulately open up a world of ideas that help you understand imagination and its complexities.That is what I will be elaborating on. Like other of Frost poems, ‘mending wall’ involves a journey.
We are introduced to two farmers in an annual meeting at the wall that separates their properties. They walk the length of the wall, repairing damage that has been done during the year. This process allows us to think the whole question of communication or, more precisely, the way we put up walls and create barriers between ourselves. As happens in this poem it shifts from a basic, natural setting to an abstract consideration of human behavior.The very first word of the poem establishes the sense of that which colors in its entire atmosphere. This opening line establishes a mystery; there is ‘something’ that doesn’t want the wall to be there.
Whatever it is, it is a powerful force: it creates a ‘frozen grounds swell’ that attacks the wall from the base, forcing the boulders on the top to tumble off. Wintertime is when the destroyer does its work. The effect is not a small one, but a gap that is as wide as two people are. The question is ‘what has caused them? In this stanza, he breaks from his consideration of this mysterious wall-hater for the moment to degrade hunters as culprits. He knows that hunters damage walls.
He has repaired the damage they have done. They cause a lot of damage to let the dogs get at rabbits that hide amongst the rocks of the wall. The hunting image becomes, however, but a dramatic aside to the main concern of the poem. . We return to the air of mystery. These gaps that appear just seem to have happened, with no one seeing or hearing them being made. The idea of mending is introduced in the last line.
Such as spring time mending Mr. Frost makes it sound like it’s a natual part of the year. Such as mondern day spring cleaning.
Like tree falling, sheep shearing and crop-harvesting. It is a ritual which has it’s own importaance. it causes two neighbors to cooperate so that the wall which separate them to be able to be standing. It divides even their energies at this moment as they keep the wall between them as they walk its line. The definition of the ritual in strong symbolic terms is a statement of humankind’s determination to hang on to all that divides it.
Furthermore in this stanza they fix the wall in springtime, after wintertime, when the ‘frozen-ground-swell’ has done its work of destruction. He uses the most simplest of examples: if you had cows you would of course want to block them in and stop them from roaming into others’ properties. But he points out the obvious, simple truth, in the most simple of language: ‘But here there are no cows. ’ Surely, such a persuasive argument must make his neighbour rethink his preoccupation that you need walls between you to make good neighbours.
he charater questions the reasons for the wall being built in the first place. He sees a couple of reasons for building a wall: if there is something you need to keep in or out, build a wall; if some trouble can result from open spaces, build a wall. Otherwise why have one? He raises his argument by sharing his open-line conviction with his neighbour: ‘Something there is that doesn’t love a wall’, adding for emphasis, ‘That wants it down’. He hopes his neighbour will see that this is why they have to meet every spring to wear their fingers out repairing this unnecessary barrier.After his plea, he senses failure. Maybe his neighbour’s attitude or impassive response makes Frost feel that he has to go further.
It occurs to him briefly that this man might be persuaded by more superstitious argument. Should he suggest that elves are constantly eroding the wall? But he doesn’t proceed on this new track. He knows that the force that wants the wall down is not from some children’s story. It is something much more profound. Besides he wants the man to start thinking about the phenomenon of the wall mysteriously crumbling.If the man suggested elves himself, that would at least be a start to questioning and appraising the game they are playing.
Frost attempts to talk to his neighbour out of the wall fail. Before the man even answers Frost’s arguments, Frost gives a picture of him doing his work. This man who insist on having a wall that has no clear function is seen as a product of a long-gone age: ‘an old-man’. He is like a savage from whose times, when, it seems, it was essential to wall yourself off from other savages for safety and protection. There is a lot of shade around from the woods and the trees.
But this not the only darkness the man is walking in. it is the darkness from the past. He has not moved into a more civilised, enlightened age when, Modern day people think, you don’t need to block yourself off from other people. The picture Frost draws of his neighbour finally has a touch of mockery in it. How can this man be so narrow-minded and silly? But the dominant tone is one of pity for people who thoughtlessly create barriers between themselves and others. The final lines show the hopeless journey .
Deaf to the arguments, his neighbour sticks to his father’s dictum: ‘Good fences make good neighbours’.He will not go behind this saying to test whether it has any validity. The neighbour in fact takes pleasure in repeating this piece of derived ‘wisdom’. The poem leaves us with a somewhat comedian character who like an untested saying, derived from his father, who probably derived it from his, and so on back into the ‘stone-tablet’ age. His neighbour ends the poem, in something of an anticlimax and wins the ‘argument’; the wall is fixed and they will meet again next year. A strong feature of Mr.
Frost’s poetry is his use of symbols.He starts a story and gathers an additional meaning and significance as the poem develops. The wall represented barriers, divisions, irrational and unnatural dividers that keep people apart, nature symbolises a unifying force, the stone-age man represent unthinking man and that civilisation has passed him by while spring symbolises a new birth in nature. Changes of seasons are important on Frosts’ poem where the neighbour rejects the chance for a new start.
So as you can see this poem is just a poem about mending a wall, but it has significant meaning which relate to human behaviour.