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I really enjoyed mending wall. I thought that Frosts writing style was great and that the poem was good at separating the two main characters.
@berryberry I too believe that Frost did a very good job of separating the two main characters, making them polar opposites. I also like how he used things hidden inside the poem to reveal a deeper meaning of the wall that separates the two neighbors. I have seen a couple of people each analyze something different from the poem that I didn't think about before reading their comments. This is the cool thing about peer discussion, is you can pick up on things you may not have found.
@alechayosh07 I think your view of the title as part of the meaning of the poem is very interesting, and it is a perspective I hadn't though of before. In my opinion, I think that the title "The Mending Wall" is supposed to mean different things if you look at it from the different perspectives of the characters of the story. To the narrator, the wall is being mended, but at the cost of the relationship between the narrator and the neighbor. In the text, we can see how the narrator doesn't want the wall to be put up, because he sees it as unnecessary and physically divisive. To the neighbor, the wall's mending represents the mending of the relationship between the neighbor and narrator, as the narrator sees the fence as a way of making sure that both people have boundaries. I think that the message from this is that both of the two characters have viewpoints that are fundamentally different from the others, which makes me feel that the lesson in this poem is to show the difficulty of dealing with someone who has a perspective that you struggle to understand.
I didn't see the main the poem to be "building barriers" but more the establishment of boundaries between two neighbors. In my opinion barriers have a negative connotation where as boundaries don't always have to be bad and actually are important to have in relationships. The poem was hard for me to interpret but I didn't really see the neighbor as territorrial, as that sounds almost aggressive. When reading the poem I got the sense that he was just upholding the tradition of the wall.
The poem clearly wanted to state the importance of boundaries and who puts them in place. Now of course the people establishing the boundaries might have a different view on how and where the figurative boundaries are placed but ultimately they are placed in a spot were everyone agrees on. One can see the discontent on Frost's character but it was utimately necessary in order to emphasize both sides of the boundary set by the people in the relationship.
@berryberry In my opinion the writing style was a little overboard. For example when he added in the stanza about the hunters letting the rabbit loose was a little puzzling for me. I still haven't been able to convince myself on what it is. But I do have some vague ideas. Like at first I thought that the hunters represented the mischief that the other neighbor who was placing the boundary first. But then I realized that Frost's neighbor actually is not a very dynamic character in the poem. So I dismissed that idea quickly. I was wondering what you think the purpose of adding the hunters was?
@alechayosh07 I interpreted the tone of the narrator a little bit more annoyed. I say that because at the very end of the poem he repeats or mocks the phrase "Good fences make good neighbors". This appears to me that Frost is a little ticked off. Giving off that annoying vibe and also back in the poem he questions why his neighbor sets walls. The fact that he is not settling well and questioning his neighbors decisions, leads me to believe that he is annoyed.
@alechayosh07 What you are saying is exactly what I meant to convey. Both men need to want the walls between them down for anything to happen. I see it as an extended metaphor for their relationship. Both of them have to want to become closer for it to happen. Their yards represent their selves, and that line is basically saying that even if the walls between them lower, they wont lose their identity. I also disagree with your characterization of the speaker, I don't think he necessarily wants to have his apple trees cross over into the pine trees, but rather just wants them to coexist. It's a subtle change, but it changes the meaning from the speaker going against the neighbors wishes to the speaker rejecting the neighbors mindset altogether.
@salmon I like your examination of the friendship relation between the two people. I often find myself making large scale thematic claims which may be accurate, may not be, but simplifying it down to what is actually written is more challenging, so I applaud you. The tone of the poem is mischievous, like you said, and I think it's also quite carefree. As much as the speaker disagrees, there is a slightly whimsical aspect to their thought process. I can imagine a slight hidden grin on the speaker's face while contemplating the neighbors opinions, as if the speaker accepts that while they are nonsense, there is no way to change his mind. For a poem about ignorance, the tone was distinctly light.
@msar this is a good point, and also has to do with my idea that there was a conflict in the past. It makes me think that the narrator asks these same things every year, and the neighbor is tired of hearing it. This makes him comes off annoyed and short with the narrator because he is trying to shut the narrator up. I could say more, but I am inferring what has happened between the two, and this is just my guess on the possible background for the story.
@username27 I really like what you said about the characters agreeing to disagree. That's a great and relatable way to characterize their relationship. I think it describes it well since the speaker agrees to help the neighbor while still disagreeing. About whether we can decide or not, I think Frost meant for us to try to decide, but the conundrum is that both are defended with reasonable motives and arguments, so it's very difficult. I think Frost may hint at the speaker being correct with the ideas of modernization and adapting to new situations, but also empathizes with the neighbor.
@octavia I also really like this idea! I think it really helps characterize both the narrator and the neighbor to what their true meaning is. In your post when you said
I think Frost meant for us to try to decide, but the conundrum is that both are defended with reasonable motives and arguments
it really made me reassess the poem for a deeper meaning. I feel like recently I have been opened up to the idea that all poems are up to the reader's interpretation, hence the author providing a decision. And that is something I have found to like in this poem is that there are multiple different interpretations that all sound correct based on the situation at hand.
@berryberry I also thought that the poem "Mending Wall" was great. The poem was pretty easy to follow and but had big meaning to it. The contrast of opinion on the barrier was interesting to follow because both of the characters had realistic points and reason to believe they were correct. I kept on thinking about my neighbor and I arguing about the fence between our property. It seems like a weird thing to do because it is so normal to create separation between each other. I was on the speakers side. I wondered why the neighbor was so insistent on repairing this barrier.
@aaparrot, I agree, I think Frost was trying to clearly show how sometimes tradition can be ignorant. Because I think it's definitely true to this day that there are people who follow tradition so closely that they may seem ignorant. The speaker pointed out a countless number of facts on why there's no reason for the fence to be there, but the neighbor just continued to follow his father's traditions. This really frustrated me while reading the poem because I felt like the neighbor was giving bland and short answers when the speaker was just trying to be open and nice with him. I think Frost did a really good job of portraying this idea of tradition vs. fact.
@gardella I think that the reason they repair the wall every year is to keep that barrier strong. If there are holes, then there are holes in each other's privacy. What's the point of having a wall if there are holes. I don't know if this makes sense, but that's how I view it. This question can be viewed from many different perspectives, but this is my best reasoning for the action.
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