Critical Analysis of “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost
First of all, it is necessary to say a couple of words about the release time of the poem to find out more about the context of this epoch and use it during our analysis. It was written in 1914 and published in the same year. It was the year of the First World War. This event from the past century might have had a high impact on writing this poem. We will reveal later whether it is true or false.
This poem is the blank verse; it has two active characters (two neighbors) and some passive actors (father, people, etc). So, it seems to be a speech between two main characters at first sight; on the contrary, we can state that it is just the self-analysis or internal reflections of the main character. The last one could be a narrator who expresses the author’s thoughts and observations.
Also, we should mention that this poem has strong metaphors and imaginaries. The first and the most important one is the wall. It is a symbol that prevents people from communicating, building good relationships, understanding each other, being sympathetic, and uniting their forces. Thus, we see that the author expresses through his character a lot of doubts whether they need this wall or not. He is struggling with his thoughts while repairing their joint fence. However, another neighbor even does not have any doubts and never asks him why he is rebuilding this wall each year. He follows his father words and own beliefs that “Good fences make good neighbors.” Here, the author shows us two types of people. The first neighbor is the one, who can think critically and analyze the information. The second is the one, who follows their relatives and past. It seems that the author calls us not be blind followers of our parents and past. Instead, we should live now and think about the presence and future but remember the past to not make the same mistakes, not to be “old stone savage.”
Thus, this simple wall and these neighbors represent those social problems they had in 1914: the lack of critical thinking, the lack of self-identification, the lack of freedom. We may guess that these sorts of reasons have also a strong influence on the beginning of the First World War. Although the poem tells us about the main characteristics of the past century society, it is also topical nowadays. Robert Frost discusses the main principles of democracy: constructive criticism, freedom of voice, and human rights. These are those principles we are struggling for during the whole of our history. Therefore, this poem goes through the time and always stays topical.
To sum up, we need to say that Robert Frost as one of the most famous American authors through descriptions of, at first sight, such simple rural situations, gives us big moral lessons. Particularly in this story, he encourages us to be open-minded, to communicate with people, to be fair to each other. He also firmly calls us to break all existing walls among us that bring only suffering, disappointments, and misunderstandings. Although it seems that you are close to each other physically, in fact, you are so far emotionally!