Working Together in Robert Frost's Mending Wall Essay

869 Words4 Pages
Working Together in Robert Frost's Mending Wall The air is cool and crisp. Roosters can be heard welcoming the sun to a new day and a woman is seen, wearing a clean colorful wrap about her body and head, her shadow casting a lone silhouette on the stone wall. The woman leans over to slide a piece of paper into one of the cracks, hoping her prayer will be heard in this city of Jerusalem. Millions are inserting their prayers into the walls of Japanese temples, while an inmate in one of a hundred prisons across the United States looks past his wall toward the prayers he did not keep. Billions fall asleep each night surrounded by four walls and thousands travel to China to witness the grandest one of all. Who builds walls and who…show more content…
He blames it upon the cold ravages of a winter swell and the indifferent attitude of hunters searching out a hare. By leaving the question a mystery the speaker is able to entertain himself with fantasies of elves and ideas of fiction, to fill a winter's long mind made mischievious by the spring season (Lentricchia 105). In defense of why a wall should be maintained the farmer merely states his father's saying, "Good fences make good neighbors"(Frost 28). The farmer does not have any real proof of why the wall should be put back each spring, when there is no threat of livestock crossing the borders. When questioned a second time he gave the same answer and again without giving the reason why fences make good neighbors. Family tradition and work ethic seem to be this farmer's motivation. He seeks to get the wall completed where the speaker appears more entertained by the activity (Barry 145). The farmer's mechanical repair of the fence is imagined in the eyes of the speaker as "an old-stone savage armed"(Stanford 40). Before attitudes can be discussed first the poem's moral must be decided. "Mending Wall" does not take the approach of right and wrong, rather it shows two perspectives. There is the speaker who seeks a "release from the dull ritual of work each spring" and the farmer, "who is trapped by work and the New England past" (Lentricchia 106). Two
Open Document