Essay about Needless Boundaries in Frost's Mending Wall

456 Words 2 Pages
Needless Boundaries in Frost's Mending Wall

As long as man has existed, territories and boundaries have been a part of life. Everyone finds a need to have a part of this earth that he can call his own. As soon as one finds his own space, he begins to set boundaries sometimes in the form of walls or fences. This creation of a wall raises the question with the poet, Robert Frost, as to what they are “walling in or walling out.” In his poem “Mending Wall,” Frost as the narrator participates in the repairing of a wall that he finds little purpose in.

Frost suggests that besides himself there is “something” mysterious that doesn’t like walls. For example, the frozen ground swells to make gaps big enough to
…show more content…
With no livestock to fence in, and apple trees not big enough to harm her pine trees, the poet sees no real purpose in the wall. However, his neighbor feels that the fence will ensure a friendly existence between them as he states, “good fences make good neighbors.”

Is it necessary to wall yourself up in order to enjoy a peaceful existence with others? The neighbor continues to perform the task of repairing the fence to provide a division between him and the rest of the world. He apparently believes it necessary to ensure peaceful existence with a wall. The poet sees it as an unnecessary interruption in natural beauty.

The poet sees this ritual of mending the wall as a humorous “game.” He compares his neighbor to a “old-stone savage armed.” He says he “moves in darkness” and only does what his father did before him. He also says, “he will not go behind his father’s saying, “…good fences make good neighbors.” The darkness is not from the shade trees that cover him but from his lack of understanding that the poet does not share his concern for restoring the wall.

The poet fails to see the need for people and nature to separate from each other. Men should enjoy their natural surroundings without boundaries. The wall represents the lack of communication on the point between he and his neighbor. The neighbor is bound by tradition,
Open Document