The Theme of Isolation in Robert Frost's The Mending Wall Essay

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The Theme of Isolation in Robert Frost's The Mending Wall Robert Frost's "The Mending Wall" is a comment on the nature of our society. In this poem, Frost examines the way in which we interact with one another and how we function as a whole. For Frost, the world is often one of isolation. Man has difficulty communicating and relating to one another. As a result, we have a tendency to shut ourselves off from others. In the absence of effective communication, we play the foolish game of avoiding any meaningful contact with others in order to gain privacy. "The Mending Wall" describes two neighboring farmers who basically live in isolation, at least from one another. Frost's use of language reinforces the idea of isolation. When…show more content…
He has learned that it is easier to shut someone out than to attempt to effectively communicate. While the narrator seems more willing to reach out to his neighbor, in the end, he does not. He does wonder why fences supposedly make good neighbors. For him, the question is what is he "walling in or walling out"? He seems to realize that he is "walling out" other people. As long as the symbolic wall stands between the neighbors, they will always be separated. Earlier in the poem, Frost uses the symbolism of a rabbit to seemingly reinforce this point. The hunters must destroy the wall in order to "have the rabbit out of hiding". The men, in turn must break down the walls between them if they are to come out of "hiding". The narrator seems to have a desire to point this out to his neighbor. However, he does not, simply dismissing his idea as "the mischief" that spring has instilled in him. He realizes that he is unable to communicate with his neighbor in any meaningful fashion and, thus, remains in isolation from him. Frost considers the interaction between the two men to be nothing more than a foolish game. He uses language which makes the process of wall mending seem structured and organized in the manner of a game. The two men "walk the line" as they "keep the wall between us as we go". Frost makes the men seem like opponents in this "kind of outdoor game", as they are positioned "one on a side". Thus as they work together,
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