The speaker of the poem "Mending Wall" continues to assist repair the wall even if he recognizes he disagrees with its presence. As the poem unfolds, the speaker observes how many natural forces, such as the ground and animals, work together to tear down the wall each winter. He comes to realize that man-made walls are no different, and should be treated with the same respect.
"Mending Wall," first published in Robert Frost's second book, North of Boston, in 1914, is a narrative poem about a meeting between two neighbors whose property border is delineated by a stone fence. One day, without warning or explanation, one of them (who has been out hunting) returns home to find that the other has fixed the fence, so that their lands are now united.
Frost originally called the poem "An Indian Story." It was later discovered that an early version of the poem had appeared in print under its current title in the Kenyon Review in 1913. Frost probably borrowed the name from William Faulkner's novel, which was not published until 1925.
In creating this work, Frost was drawing upon his own experience as well as that of others. The house where he grew up was surrounded by a stone wall, and there were many other such walls in New Hampshire at the time. The farmers near him had also built fences, and these usually consisted of wooden posts with wire stretched between them. Sometimes there would be large rocks placed at certain points along the boundary line to indicate where the land stopped and water began.
Although Frost did not specify which part of the world this incident took place, it is likely that he was thinking of Southern England.
The poem "Mending Wall" by Robert Frost is about the walls humans build between themselves and others. "Good fences make good neighbors," which indicates that establishing limits will help people get along better. However, the poem's speaker appears to argue that such restrictions are obsolete and superfluous. This interpretation comes from how the poem ends: "Keeping time / To a silent tune". Since music was used as a signal when fencing crops, this suggests that the wall itself is no longer necessary.
Fences were important tools for keeping out animals and trespassers. Farmers needed to protect their crops, so they built high fences to keep out deer. Deer like to eat plants, so farmers didn't want them eating their vegetables. Pigs also need protection from predators, so they built fences to keep out bears and coyotes.
People who lived near each other usually got along okay but sometimes had disputes with their neighbors. Sometimes these disagreements became serious and led to violence. In some cases, one group of people would build a fence to keep out another group. When someone mends a fence, they put it back together again after it has been broken or damaged. Mending fences shows respect for others and wants relationships to continue peacefully between groups.
In conclusion, "good fences make good neighbors" means that maintaining boundaries can help people live together in peace.
In the second line of the poem, the speaker expressly blames natural causes for the wall's decay. He writes that the earth freezes, causing fissures in the soil on which the wall is built. This implies that the wall is not maintained, so it can only be used to indicate where the property lines are.
The speaker goes on to say that he will repair the wall because it is his duty to protect his property from people who might otherwise trespass on it. But he also admits that he cannot restore it to its original condition because that would require human intervention after all. Thus the wall shows that there has been contact between this couple's properties but it is a friendly contact, not a legal one.
Finally, the speaker tells his neighbor that he should not blame him for the wall's decay because everyone knows that walls tend to fall down when no one repairs them. Implicit in this statement is the idea that if someone needed to repair the wall, they would find a way to do it. In other words, it is not really anyone's responsibility to maintain the wall and it is not really worth worrying about since it will probably collapse anyhow.
So in conclusion, the speaker tells his neighbor that although they have met with misfortune, it is not due to malice toward either party. Rather, it is simply nature against humanity.
How does the speaker's repeating of the neighbor's treasured notion about the need of walls (lines 27 and 45) express the poem's criticism of a harmful societal pattern? To demonstrate the neighbor's belief in rigid social conventions, the speaker indicates that the neighbor considers the duty of repairing to be a game. The poem implies that this idea is wrong and damaging because it leads people to neglect relationships.
The speaker criticizes this concept by comparing it to natural laws. Laws are rules that govern behavior; as such, they are often referred to as "sacred" or "holy" because they come from a higher power. For example, the law of gravity can never be broken-unless someone decides to go against it. This concept is used by the poet to indicate that some things are inevitable even if we may not like them-such as the need for communication breakdowns between neighbors. Even though walls would prevent these problems from happening, they could not change their nature.
Thus, the poem suggests that it is better to accept these facts than to deny them. If we ignore them, they will continue to exist and cause damage.
Additionally, the speaker uses language that expresses disappointment, shame, and regret to describe the neighbor's reaction to his failure to repair the wall. These emotions are evident from lines 28-31 when he says: "he made no move to help / his poor friend stuck in the mud".