Reaction to “Mending wall” Poem by Robert Frost | My Paper Hub

Reaction to “Mending wall” Poem by Robert Frost

According to the poem, the two neighbors meet annually to mend the wall that separates their farms and property. The narrator is skeptical on the essence of the tradition of repairing the wall on an annual basis. He is unable to understand why th...Read More

~Posted on Jul 2018


According to the poem, the two neighbors meet ann...

According to the poem, the two neighbors meet annually to mend the wall that separates their farms and property. The narrator is skeptical on the essence of the tradition of repairing the wall on an annual basis. He is unable to understand why they have to keep repeating the tradition and yet there is nothing that either of the neighbors can destroy in either farm. The narrator says, “There where it is we do not need the wall: He is all pine, and I am an apple orchard. My apple trees will never get across And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him (Frost).” The narrator does not see the essence of repeating the tradition at all since they both pose no threat to each pother’s property. The poem was as if Frost tried to highlight some of the traditions that exist among societies. As if to use the poem to narrate some of the experiences he had himself. He is trying to give a form of an autobiography of his experience in New Hampshire where he and his neighbor named Napoleon Guay, who was a French-Canadian has to mend the wall that separated their farms.

As if to support the claim that it was counterproductive having to repair a wall every time, the narrator in the poem highlights the fact that it as if nature rejected the existence of the wall since it kept falling apart on its own even after they mend it. However, the neighbor keeps saying “Good fences make good neighbors (Frost).” Frost was able to use the example of the wall and also the phrase to indicate and also insist on the importance of having some form of rules, borders and boundaries among individuals in a bid to maintain a peaceful co-existence. It is the existence of physical and also known boundaries that maintains the discipline that ultimately translates to the discipline resulting to a good relationship between individuals.

The narrator also accuses the neighbor of being old-fashioned in the way they did their things by abiding by the tradition. He says, “He will not go behind his father's saying, And he likes having thought of it so well... (Frost)” It is as if the narrator tries to discourage the following of tradition may be because they do not feel the need or the motivation to keep mending a falling wall. Frost can bring out the need for abiding in traditions. It is as if he uses the wall to symbolize the relationship and co-existence that existed between the neighbors. By mending the wall as the neighbor insisted, they were able to fix their relationship before it fell apart. It is because, as was then case many years ago it still is the case in the present that where individuals live together, there is still room for possible conflict hence the need for the existence of rules symbolized by the wall.

The neighbor, as is indicated by the narrator in the poem, is adamant and does not compromise his standpoint on the need to have the fence mended. He kept repeating that good fences are what made good neighbors. It is as if to highlight the good relationship that he shared with his neighbor while in New Hampshire that Frost uses the words that Guay used o him. It is also a way to pass the message of standing the ground since; the narrator kept complaining of having to mend the wall every year and never indicated any form of conflict between the two. It meant that the maintenance of the wall also maintained how they lived together, and this was possible through the adamancy of then neighbor to keep supporting the wall despite the persistent proposal to leave it alone by the narrator.

The existence of the wall is fundamental to maintaining the relationship between individuals. The two parties are also able to retain their individuality as was the case in the poem. One farmer remained a pine farmer while the other kept their apple trees. Moreover, the activity of mending the wall also signified the events that bring people together and hence maintaining their relationship or building it further. It indicates on the fact that relationships are built and sustained and do not just exist but requires some effort and input of time as the two neighbors mended the wall every year.

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