Analysis of Mending Wall by Robert Frost Essay

670 Words 3 Pages
Analysis of Mending Wall by Robert Frost

Robert Frost is describing a process in "Mending Wall", which is repairing a wall that separates his territory and his neighbor's. The wall was deteriorated during the winter, when the cold frost created cracks and gaps in the wall. He uses a nearly infantile imagination to unravel the mystery of the damage that appeared suddenly in spring. While they are tediously laboring to reconstruct the fence, Frost is imploring his neighbor about the use of the wall; his apple trees can be clearly distinguished from his neighbor's pine trees. Yet underneath this quotidian routine, Frost goes beyond the surface to reveal its figurative meaning.

The poem renders an apparent question: Why do
…show more content…
He also uses other devices such as a pun, applied in the line, "And to whom I was like to give offence." The last word of the line simply emphasizes the importance of the subject, the fence. The most prominent figure of speech, however, is the ironic, "Good fences make good neighbors." This is completely opposite of the connotation of the poem. Fences do not make neighbors, but strangers that are apathetic towards each other. The neighbor seems to prefer this approach, to eliminate any risks of trespassing or offenses. Yet what the fence really does is hinder the development of friendship. This is comparable to the barriers of bitterness, anger, hate, and fear men put between one another that obstruct love and friendship.

The poet also used imagery to appeal to the senses. The puzzling force that abhors the wall "sends the frozen-ground-swell under it, and spills the upper boulders in the sun."
Open Document