Analysis of “Mending Wall”
The poem “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost explains every year, stones are dislodged and gaps suddenly appear, all without explanation. The narrator and his neighbor meet to repair the stonewall that separates their property every year. The narrator does not understand the need for a wall when there are no farm animals to be contained on the property, only apples and pine trees. He does not believe that a wall should exist simply for the fact of existing. The neighbor, however, expresses that the wall is crucial to maintaining their relationship, stating, “Good fences make good neighbors.”(Line 27) Over the course of the mending, the narrator tries to convince his neighbor that is not necessary and accuses him of living in the dark ages for maintaining the tradition so strongly. No matter what the narrator says, the neighbor stands his ground, repeating only: “Good fences make good neighbors.”(27)
It seems as if nature is trying to destroy the barriers that the neighbors have created on the land, even as the neighbor continue to repair the barriers, simply out of habit and tradition. The presence of the wall between the properties does ensure a valued relationship between the two neighbors. By upholding the division between the properties, the narrator and his neighbor are able to preserve their individual lives and personal identity. Furthermore, each time they meet in the year to rebuild the wall, mending, allow the two neighbors to interact with each other, which is an event that may not occur without the presence of the wall. "Mending Wall" allows us to take a look at how we use our boundaries, and why we use them the way we do. The narrator is more comfortable with his surrounding and does not many boundaries. Where as the neighbor’s boundaries are identified through tradition and what society has portrayed as standard boundaries.