Robert Frost's Mending Wall

1210 Words May 21st, 2006 5 Pages
Analysis "Mending Wall", By Robert Frost

In "Mending Wall", Robert Frost uses a series of contrasts, to express his own conflict between tradition and creation. By describing the annual ritual of two neighbors repairing the wall between them, he contrasts both neighbors through their ideas and actions, intertwining the use of parallelism and metaphors, in order to display his own innermost conflict as a poet; the balance between what is to be said and what is to be left to the reader, the balance between play and understanding.
From the very first line, the speaker is presented as playful and intelligent, and clearly not a ‘native ' farmer. He gives an enjoyable and roundabout, almost magical, phrasing to the first line, "Something
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And rather than give up and thus acknowledge the inexistence of his world, or the falseness of his story, he remains lucidly supportive of imagination, by integrating his neighbor into his fantasy as "an old-stone savage armed". This explains why the last line, curiously, is spoken by the neighbor, for the neighbor, now having been incorporated into the fantasy world, is able to take part in the poem, and its imagination. Yet, at least on this level, the story is left inconclusive, without a direct or open challenge from the speaker to the neighbor with regards to his outdated traditions, as both the speaker and the neighbor fail to communicate with one another. The speaker, ironically that is, creating a wall, through his imagination, that blocks out his neighbor, and the neighbor supporting a physical wall that leaves out his neighbor. Thus no wall is truly mended, as they all remain standing, and standing strong.
Besides this dramatic situation, an underlying an alternate meaning arises in the poem, seen directly as Frost, as the author, interacting in the poem. The poem is organized into only one stanza and is in iambic pentameter, with the exception of several lines. This, obviously not a coincidence, is a representation for Frost 's love for the playful and intertwined nature of content and form. The own poem, through its one stanza, and constant iambic pentameter form, save for