ForumsDialogue is Action
Last Post Update: Feb 16
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@xwing37 I agree that Frost did a good job showing the difference between these two characters. To add onto what you said, I think the fact that the neighbor was so short spoken added to Frost's ability to show how traditional he is. Being traditional also has the idea of being unwilling to consider moving forward or considering new points of view. The neighbor does just this. Although the narrator continues to ask and gives many reasons about getting rid of the wall/fence, the neighbor only ever has one comment back. This shows how truly traditional he is, and how he is very set in his beliefs and will likely never change them.
I was thinking about mending wall earlier when I was thinking of some themes we have talked about in class. I want to say this about mending wall, I think that a lot of stuff we do in class has to do with this poem one way or the other. If you think about everyday arguments as well you can see how mending walls stalemate can relate to an everyday argument. What do you think?
@stella I completely agree! My first interpretation of this poem did not represent building barriers to me, but after reading other classmate's comments that theme became more prevalent to me. My first interpretation was a separation between the two. I agree that he was following the tradition, not trying to be aggressive.
I think the intention of this poem serves almost as a reminder of our need for boundaries. We are so quick to establish barriers to those we are close with, in order to prevent anyone from getting too closely related. That’s not how everyone thinks though, and we see that through the speaker. The speaker is an embodiment of those who prefer to overstep boundaries, or just to eliminate boundaries from those they want to get close to. The neighbor symbolizes someone that would rather keep that barrier. The poem provides this contrast between the two almost as a reflection of most relationships in society today.
@mangoman I think to a certain extent you are right. This poem is basically just one big disagreement, which can relate to what we discuss in class. However, I believe the two sides to the argument that are represented in the poem are far more personal, while in class our sides to the argument tend to be more conditional.
@xwing37 - I agree that a big meaning in the poem was to show that sometimes sticking to tradition is ignorant. I think sometimes people follow and continue to do things just because it is habit and something that have been doing forever whether or not that tradition makes any sense at all. This poem works in numerous way to illustrate this and characterizes this trait in the neighbor.
@xmysterio I really like that you brought up the fact that this poem has the contrast between the speaker and neighbor as a reflection of today. With almost anything nowadays, there's always two different sides it seems like- and no in-between middle ground. Take the virus, for example, we've seen the two very different sides of people who feel that the virus is a hoax, masks are a violation of their rights, etc. We've also seen the side of people that are following social distancing rules, wearing masks, and following the science behind it. I enjoy how not only this poem was fun and a different read, but also has a correlation with our society today.
@Siennamuscat742 - I really liked how you tied this poem to events happening today. After all, we should be able to do that with all pieces of literature. You are right, there are too sides to every story. A lot of people have talked about how Frost leaves the poem open ended allowing for the reader to choose a side. I feel like it is super hard in this situation to choose because the speaker and the neighbor are both wrong according to their differing perspectives.
@klynnph I would have to agree, this poem as actually quite easy to understand. I feel like in most poems they are written to trick the reader in a way to get them thinking, but this was much more clear to the point being given, which I enjoyed. We are able to see a lack of adaptation to change over time from the main character passed down from the morals of his father. Overall, I enjoyed this poem!
@username27 Couldn't the meaning of the poem also be the contrast between the idea of rules meant to keep us safe, versus total freedom? The neighbor does have reasoning for repairing the wall saying, "good fences make good neighbors", while the narrator believes that this barrier isn't needed, and that it just divides the two yards for no reason. To me, this seems similar to a common debate that I see in regards to our laws in real life. Some people believe that more laws are necessary and helpful to keep peace and order, similar to how the neighbor in the poem believes the fence is helpful to make sure the two characters do not have any disputes or conflict. Other people believe that more laws are not needed, as it takes away some freedoms, much as how in the poem the narrator doesn't see the need for the fence, because it does nothing but restrict the two neighbors in the story.
@xmysterio, I agree with the theme of boundaries, but I wonder what Frost wanted us to think of this theme. I feel like there is never a clear position, whether building boundaries is good or bad. Even the speaker who questions the purpose of the wall doesn't do anything to change the wall. Instead, he continues to patch the year every year. The neighbor builds the wall every year, and there is never any effect, good or bad. Because of this, I'm wondering if the theme could have to do with people getting stuck in tradition.
@xmysterio I totally agree with you! This poem very well showcases the two different "arguments" relating to this concept of boundaries. Our speaker almost has this kid like out look and our neighbor has this "I've had more experience" when it comes to boundaries type of view. Our speaker believes that boundaries break down the chance at a close relationship with others. Our neighbor in this poem allows us to see his side which would be that boundaries actually help relationships such as his and the speakers to thrive. We get a nice outlook on both sides of this casual debate.
@mangoman I agree! I would say the mending wall presents itself as this very casual debate. Casual debates are something we are very familiar with especially in this class. This poem take this debate in a casual way when in reality this can be a very pressing argument for some. This boundary talk can be one that includes a large amount of stress for others. I like how this poem basically outlined each point of view of this "argument". It was nice to see an outline of both sides.
@berryberry This piece was very nice in a way that we could see how each character thought. I grew up with a lot of Frost's poems so this was a nice little refresher. We saw the outline of how each the neighbor and speaker thought of the concept of boundaries. We take a look at the neighbor that believed boundaries strengthened relationships and our speaker that believed boundaries restricted the over all connection in a sense. The distinguishing characteristics between the two characters mentalities is really cool to see as well.
@stella I most definitely agree with you! I feel like this poem was able to casually bring up the different perspectives on the subject of boundaries. The wording when analyzing this poem is key. This subject of boundaries might be difficult for some. I really like how this took this concept and allowed it to be played out in a casual and opening way. I did not see the neighbor as harsh at all, he simply had a different view on the subject. Each view is very valid in this poem.
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