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13 January, 05:11

In the poem "Mending Wall", Frost repeats the line "Good fences make good neighbors." What might the speaker be saying about this phrase? Based on the context of the poem, does the wall separate the neighbors, bring them together, or both? Although the speaker argues against having a wall, does he ultimately seem to agree with or oppose the wall? How can you tell? Cite evidence from the text to support your response.

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  1. 13 January, 05:57
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    The line "Good fences make good neighbors" suggests that boundaries may be useful in social relationships. The wall doesn't simply protect the personal space of two neighbors. Maintaining the wall also seems to be the one activity that brings the speaker and his neighbor together. For the rest of the year, their differences keep them apart. Those differences are highlighted by the characteristics of their properties-one has an apple orchard and the other owns land dense with pine trees. The wall-building project brings about a conversation between the two men. So it seems that the wall is not just a barrier between the neighbors but is actually something that "mends" their relationship:

    And on a day we meet to walk the line

    And set the wall between us once again.

    It's unclear whether the speaker ultimately agrees with or opposes the wall. He sarcastically states that constructing a wall between his apple orchard and his neighbor's pine trees is unnecessary:

    There where it is we do not need the wall:

    He is all pine and I am apple orchard.

    My apple trees will never get across

    And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.

    He also says that they don't need a partition because they don't have any domestic animals to contain. He asks, "Isn't it where there are cows? But here there are no cows."

    However, the speaker contradicts himself by being the one who initiates this wall-building activity every spring with his neighbor. He's also the one who checks on the wall from time to time to ensure that hunters haven't caused it any damage:

    I let my neighbour know beyond the hill;

    And on a day we meet to walk the line

    And set the wall between us once again.

    These lines and the speaker's actions suggest that he may actually enjoy the wall-building activity. For those reasons, it's unclear whether he's in agreement with or opposed to the wall.
  2. 13 January, 06:05
    0
    " Good fences make good neighbours" The speaker questions his neighbour when this insits on this fact being that in the countryside if there are not cows walls would not be needed. Besides, the speaker questions what a wall will separate exactly. The poet says: " ... and I wonder ... / /"Why do they make good neighbours? Isn't it ... / / Where there are cows? But here there are no cows. / /Before I built a wall I'd ask to know / /What I was walling in or walling out, ... "

    The wall both separate and bring the neighbours together. The speaker and his neighbour together repair the gaps in their wall. " And on a day we meet to walk the line / / And set the wall between us once again. / /We keep the wall between us as we go. / /To each the boulders that have fallen to each / /

    The poet questions what relation there might exist between well-meant neighbours and walls where the need for them is non-existent. If there are no cows, why should there be a wall?; if there are trees, why should there be a wall?, the speaker questions. However, he keeps, along with his neighbour, the wall bewteen them. To sum up, the speaker ultimately agrees with it.
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