Monday, 28 April 2014

Mending Wall Robert Frost



Robert Frost is the greatest American poet. His poems are written in simple style. They contain profound truths, which are of universal appeal. ‘The Road not taken’, ‘Birches’, ‘Stopping by woods on a snowy Evening’, ‘Mending Wall’ are best examples. In Mending Wall, Frost exposes the stupidity of the primitive saying ‘Good fences make good neighbours’ and establishes the truth that Nature hates a wall. Now we need a world state where all live in peace and love. But at present we are all walled in and also walled out by thousands of ugly walls such as state, religion, caste, wealth, poverty, nationality etc. We don’t need these narrow minded selfish walls which will bring wars and destruction. This great message is given in Robert Frost’s poem “Mending Wall”. His poems begin in delight and end in wisdom.

At the outset of the poem, Frost says that some supernatural power does not love a wall because wall is an evil thing, which destroys the brotherhood of man. It is very opposite to freedom. The poet’s farm is full of apple trees and his neighbour’s is all pine trees. So there is no need of a wall between them.But his neighbour insists that good fences make good neighbours. So there is a wall between the two neighbours. But every year at spring mending season, the wall is broken in many places. They believe that these gaps are made by hunters. They wanted to catch rabbits for their dogs. The ground is frozen in the winter season and there is swelling on the ground and the boulders are thrown out making gaps in the wall. But in fact no one has seen the hunters catching rabbits. However the wall is broken in many places in a strange manner. So the poet believes that some unknown power does not love a wall. That is why the wall is collapsed.

Every year at spring time the two neighbours choose a day to repair the wall. The narrator does not like this work of repairing the wall. His fingers are worn out handling the rough boulders. Even the Nature is against this wall for some boulders are ball shaped and others look like loaves. So it is hard time for the poet to put these boulders on top of another.  The narrator asks each stone and boulder to sit there for some time only to satisfy his neighbor.After a day’s hard work, somehow the gaps are filled with boulders and keep the wall between the two neighbours. The narrator tells his neighbour about the futility of this repairing of the wall every year. It is waste of time, money and energy. There is no need of a wall. But his neighbour believes in the old proverb:  “Good fences make good neighbours”. The poet asks him how good fences make good neighbours.

The neighbour lives in spiritual darkness. He cannot change his old ideas. He looked like a savage carrying huge boulders in his hands. They are his weapons. Such ‘neighbours’ never follow modern ideas. They never think, but blindly follow the old rotten ideas that they are taught by their elders.  They always stick on to the age-old, meaningless beliefs and customs and create all sorts of troubles in the world. We all know that there are thousands of such dangerous walls, which wall out some people and wall in some others. Religions and nationalities are the biggest walls, which separate man from man. If there is love between man and man all kinds of walls can be disappeared from the earth. All these walls lead to a lot of problems and waste of money and energy. Besides, there is no communication possible between man and man, which may lead to suspicion and treachery, intrigue and wars and killing. Every year huge amounts are spent for making weapons and increase military expenses. All these expenses can be avoided if all the boundary walls are abolished and the idea of a world nation is established. Thus, the poem Mending Wall ends in wisdom giving us a great message about our present world and ourselves.

Kjt/- 03-08-2013

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