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Good Fences Make Good Neighbors

  • Date Submitted: 11/23/2010 12:14 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 72 
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“Good Fences Make Good Neighbors”

Robert Frost’s Mending Wall taps into the lives of two neighbors and the importance of the fence between their properties. The original purpose of a fence was to keep the dog from running away, and to keep the farm animals together. Frost shows us how the fence keeps the peace in a neighborhood and shows the boundary between the two. Frost taps into the mind of human beings and how an external barrier has an effect on the human psyche. A barrier makes people aware of where their place is.
In the first stanza, Frost writes “something there is that doesn’t love a wall.” Frost makes it a point to ask who doesn’t like a wall. Who doesn’t enjoy privacy? This becomes an important part of the poem as it unfolds because privacy is what the entire poem is about. Privacy is the root of a good and stable relationship. In line 10 of the poem, Frost write “ no one has seen them made or heard them made, but at spring mending-time we find them there.” During “mending-time” a fence appears. Mending-time is a period in which something is being repaired. After the cold weather has come and gone it was time to repair the fence. The fence is composed of various sizes of rocks, one on top of the other to build the fence.
Frost is tapping into the invisible fence that people naturally place around themselves similarly to the invisible fence in around a house. All human beings have a barrier around themselves. It is human nature for people to withhold their emotions from others. In Mending Wall, the neighbor in favor of the wall is a person who is holding back and requires the distance to maintain composure. The two neighbors are described as the apple and the pine trees.
People know that they shouldn’t intrude or trespass on to any person’s property. The two neighbors do not have mutual feelings about the fence. One of the neighbors says to the other, why do we need this fence? The other neighbor replies,” good fences make good neighbors.” The...


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