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Frost, Robert. "Mending Wall".

Summary and Analysis 

(from Od puritanismu k postmodernismu)

The speaker describes his neighbour and himself toiling for a day and mending the wall diving each other's grounds. Neither of them, however, has any cattle that would cross the boundary. They have but trees. The purpose of any wall in their case gets lost, in the opinion of the speaker.

The speaker observes that there is something which does not like the walls. It is damaged by frost and by hunters, but it is not that "something" meant by the speaker, also it is not the "elves" that the speaker feels like suggesting to his neighbour.

The gaps in the wall may symbolize the gaps in human relationships. These figurative gaps are however not to be mended by mending a wall between neighbours. "Good fences make good neighbours", the neighbour does no fail to repeat. This seems to be but a step backward .

The neighbour, announcing his father's saying on good fences, stands in the shade. The shade is not only literary but also figurative. Holding two large stones in his hands, the neighbour reminds the speaker of "an old-stone savage armed".

The speaker announces that he is being affected by the spring, here spring might be also interpreted as a symbol for regeneration and fresh new ideas and attitudes.


  • Author

    Frost, Robert. (1874 - 1963).
  • Full Title

    "Mending Wall".
  • First Published

    In: North of Boston. 1914.
  • Form


Works Cited

Frost, Robert. "Mending Wall". (1914). In: The Norton Anthology of American Literature. Ed. Nina Baym et al. NY: Norton, 1989.

Ruland, Richard, Malcolm Bradbury. Od puritanismu k postmodernismu. Praha: Mladá fronta, 1997.


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