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An Analysis Of Robert Frost's Mending Wall

Decent Essays
In “Mending Wall,” a poem by Robert Frost, he effectively uses situational irony to move the narrative forward and deepen the meaning. In this poem, the storyline involves two elderly men who are neighbors repairing a wall made of rocks that serves as a property line.The narrator of this poem feels uneasy about the rock wall that he and his neighbor share and must repair each spring. The opening line of the poem begins with the narrator sharing this thought: “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.” This sentiment suggests that the man finds the wall unnatural and resents the fact his neighbor feels compelled to put a physical barrier between them. He mentions, in fact, that his apples will never stray from his yard into his neighbor’s…show more content…
However, it is also true that the speaker is the one who initiates the repairing of it each spring, saying, when it is time to mend the wall: “I let my neighbor know beyond the hill/And on a day we meet to walk the line.” The contradiction here, the fact that the speaker is the one to start the wall-mending even though he dislikes it, is what makes the speaker’s situation a great example of situational irony. Why doesn’t he just let it fall down then if he resents it being there and views it as unnatural and unnecessary? Another excellent example of situational irony is embedded in the last line of the poem, stated by his neighbor who argues with him: “Good fences make good neighbors!” According to the narrator’s neighbor, he needs this wall primarily because his father had it. This proves ironic too because it suggests that the neighbor who actually wants it has put very little thought into why he did it and may have done it solely because of tradition. The entire poem starts as a rant against building walls, but then Frost tears all of that down with the last
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