Mending Wall

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"Mending Wall" is a poem that presents two opposing attitudes towards keeping barriers up between people. Each neighbor has a different opinion. One neighbor wants a visible line to separate their property lines and the other sees no reason for it. The poem implies a lack of security and trust one person may have towards another, even when it may not seem illogical or necessary. Each year the two neighbors meet annually at the adjoining wall. Both men walk the length of the wall to assess and repair the year's wear and tear. Frost' writing style invites the reader to probe the need for communication or, more precisely, the way people put up walls to create barriers between themselves. The visual imagery of the wall helps the reader to shift from just seeing the wall as a basic, natural setting to an abstract consideration of human behavior. In the first stanza of the poem it establishes the sense of mystery, a true color of atmosphere, "something" that does not want the wall to be there. Whatever it is, it's a powerful force and it creates a " frozen ground swell" that disrupts the wall from underneath, forcing stones on top to tumble off.

Damage appears each year so the neighbors walk along the wall to repair the gaps and fallen stones that have not been created by either of the two neighbors. Frost then gives the reader an uncertain question as to why should neighbors need walls anyway. Why do good fences make good neighbors? If one or both neighbors had cattle or something that could do possible damage then a fence would be reasonable. However, it is pointed out in the poem that there are no cattle. So, there must be some sort of human distrust between one of the neighbors. What is the distrust? Frost doesn't let the reader know. Perhaps it is an age difference that results in extreme points of view or tradition. Or maybe there is a religious bias about the other. One neighbor wants to separate and possibly his family. The wall prevents the evil of...
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