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13 Oct

Mending Wall- Robert Frost

Mending Wall

Robert Frost

II

1. Literally, the gap in the wall. Metaphorically, the gap in human relationships.

2. The poet realises that the wall is unnecessary as “he is all pine and I am apple orchard”. He also argues that since there are no cows, the wall is unnecessary. Hence he questions the mending of the wall.

3. The process of mending the wall.

4. The poet realises that the wall is unnecessary as “he is all pine and I am apple orchard”. His apple trees can never move or encroach into his neighbour’s orchard. Also, it suggests that since there is a natural separation between the two orchards, the wall is unnecessary. There is no chance of a dispute arising regarding the boundaries.

 

III

1.  The poet realises that the wall is unnecessary as “he is all pine and I am apple orchard”. This statement is the sum and substance of the poet’s argument against mending the wall. He counters the neighbour’s argument that “Good fences make good neighbours” using this reasoning.  His apple trees can never move or encroach into his neighbour’s orchard. Also, it suggests that since there is a natural separation between the two orchards, the wall is unnecessary. There is no chance of a dispute arising regarding the boundaries. It is significant since it marks a shift in the poet’s attitude towards walls. Initially, the poet seemed to favour walls, informing his neighbour and fixing a day to mend the wall. However, this thought changes the poet’s perspective and he becomes a different person altogether.

 

2. The poet’s neighbour believes that the wall is inevitable since “Good fences make good neighbours”. He counters the poet’s assertion that “he is all pine and I am apple orchard” using this reasoning. The neighbour appears to be conservative in his beliefs and ideals. He is quite stubborn with his convictions and he keeps repeating “Good fences make good neighbours” whenever the poet speaks against walls. The idea is pretty simple. Good fences between orchards can go a long way in establishing and maintaining good relationships between neighbours. It is an adage that the neighbour got from his father, and he seems to be quite happy and satisfied with that logic. He refuses to change with the changing times. He refuses to understand that the saying makes sense only when there are cows.

 

3. Spring represents that phase in the seasonal cycle when Nature is at its youngest. The innocence and pristine beauty of Nature are represented by spring season. Mischief, again, is a term associated with children and childhood. Further, wonder characterises typically the world of children. Thus, through the use of suggestive words like ‘spring’, ‘mischief’ and ‘wonder’, the poet suggests that it is the child within him that helped him change his outlook towards walls. It is significant since it marks a shift in the poet’s attitude towards walls. Initially, the poet seemed to favour walls, informing his neighbour and fixing a day to mend the wall. However, the child in the poet changes the poet’s perspective and he becomes a different person altogether.

 

4.

Poet

Neighbour

Modern in his outlook

Conservative

Against walls

In favour of walls

Flexible in his views

Adamant

Childlike

Adult-like

Light-hearted and cheerful

Serious

He is all pine and I am apple orchard

Good fences make good neighbours

Here there are no cows

Good fences make good neighbours

Changes with the changing times

Refuses to change

 

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