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Mending Wall

Uploaded by ojm99 on Aug 23, 2002

Q. Explain what the first line of this poem means to you. Do you agree with that idea or do you think that, “Good fences make good neighbours”?



A.“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.” The very first line of the poem is symbolic and sends the reader’s mind in thought. At first glance the words ‘something’ and ‘wall’ bog the inquisitive mind. It makes the reader think as to what is this ‘wall’ and what is this ‘something’ that wants it down.

The wall can be taken in the physical sense as well as the poet’s figment of imagination. In my opinion, the wall is a restriction – something that ‘walls in’ and ‘walls out’ things. Something which produces disturbances in the daily routine and that ‘something’ that wants it down is the poet’s will to attain freedom – freedom to explore the other side of the wall. But as we read on we find that there is ‘something’ that does not want the wall down and this is the tradition which has been followed generations upon generations by the poet’s neighbour who without looking at it logically blindly follows it.

The poet is of the opinion that in order to progress and move on in life a change or a series of changes is necessary. The poet tells his neighbour ‘there where it is we do not need the wall’ and in reply the neighbour (without thinking) speaks out the family’s tradition ‘good fences make good neighbours’. Thus, we see that the wall is something that imposes restrictions. It restricts the free movement of the two characters in each other’s properties.

The above discussion suggests that the narrator is practical and an open-minded person whereas the neighbour is the exact opposite – impractical and narrow-minded with limited imagination. He (the neighbour) has the character of a person who is content in his dark world and does not feel comfortable with the idea of exposing himself to the world beyond his world.

The wall performs dual functions throughout the year. It separates as well as connects people. Throughout the year the wall separates the poet and his neighbour but when spring comes, the two meet and mend the wall. And as they do that, they share ideas and talk to each other. Thus, the wall connects as well as separates people.

In my opinion the notion that ‘good fences make good neighbours’...

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Uploaded by:   ojm99

Date:   08/23/2002

Category:   Poetry

Length:   2 pages (457 words)

Views:   1701

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