MENDING WALL PDF
Mending Wall. By Robert Frost. Something there is that doesn't love a wall,. That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,. And spills the upper boulders in the. Philosophy and Literature () Good Neighbors Make Good Fences: Frost's "Mending Wall" Zev Trachtenberg Defenders of the institution of. Something there is that doesn't love a wall,. That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,. And spills the upper boulders in the sun,. And makes gaps even two.
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Robert Frost: "Mending Wall". Analysis. This poem is the first work in Frost's second book of poetry, “North of Boston,” which was published upon his return from. Mending Wall - Something there is that doesn't love a wall. SOMETHING there is that doesn't love a wall,. That sends the frozen-ground- swell under it,. And spills the upper boulders in the sun;. And makes gaps even two.
Don't go to someone else this time. Listen to me. I won't come down the stairs. I don't know how to speak of anything So as to please you. But I might be taught I should suppose. I can't say I see how. A man must partly give up being a man With women-folk. We could have some arrangement By which I'd bind myself to keep hands off Anything special you're a-mind to name.
Though I don't like such things 'twixt those that love. Two that don't love can't live together without them.
But two that do can't live together with them. Don't carry it to someone else this time. Tell me about it if it's something human. Let me into your grief.
I'm not so much Unlike other folks as your standing there Apart would make me out. Give me my chance. I do think, though, you overdo it a little. What was it brought you up to think it the thing To take your mother--loss of a first child So inconsolably--in the face of love.
You'd think his memory might be satisfied--' 'There you go sneering now!
You make me angry. I'll come down to you. God, what a woman! And it's come to this, A man can't speak of his own child that's dead. If you had any feelings, you that dug With your own hand--how could you?
I thought, Who is that man? I didn't know you.
And I crept down the stairs and up the stairs To look again, and still your spade kept lifting. Then you came in. I heard your rumbling voice Out in the kitchen, and I don't know why, But I went near to see with my own eyes. You could sit there with the stains on your shoes Of the fresh earth from your own baby's grave And talk about your everyday concerns. You had stood the spade up against the wall Outside there in the entry, for I saw it.
I'm cursed. An example of this sort of connection is the Jeffersonian ideal, in which property enables the individual to participate in the life of the community, which in turn cultivates the civic virtue of its individual members through its property regime.
For the narrator, as we have seen, the maintenance of a property regime itself relies on communal ties. Few formal theorists of property have developed this sort of connection between property and community.
A possible conceptual link can be found in an argument offered by Carol Rose, who has persuasively identified a role for the human connections I associate with community in the creation of a [End Page ] property regime. To get a property regime going, people must be willing to cooperate reliably with each other, not breaking their mutual agreements even if they are certain they can get away with it. The willingness to enter into cooperative arrangements where it is open to others to cheat can be explained by the existence of some prior human attachments between the erstwhile cooperators.
Being part of a community, that is, can inspire the trust needed to initiate and sustain collective action. III Although the narrator sees the possibility that property can support community, he also sees that that possibility can go unrecognized.
Indeed, by the end of the poem it seems that the neighbor has failed to appreciate the shared activity of mending the wall in the way the narrator would like. The narrator sees the chore as play, and hopes that his banter about his apple trees not eating the neighbor's pine cones will bring his co-worker to acknowledge their connectedness.
The neighbor responds with his slogan, endorsing separation. Still, the narrator has hopes that their interaction will make the neighbor question his belief. The neighbor should consider that blithely putting up a wall might give offense--building walls requires examination first, of what one is "walling in or walling out.
At this point the narrator repeats his slogan, imagining that the neighbor might see in it a critique of his the neighbor's limited conception of human association. The narrator wants the neighbor to grasp that a wall can be like an insult, and that whatever it is that doesn't love a wall might want it down because, like an insult, it disrupts community.
But the neighbor does not entertain these thoughts.
He does not even enter into the narrator's play, by, say, joking that the damage the [End Page ] two men repair was caused by elves. This slogan is the poem's closing line, indicating that the narrator grasps that their interaction has failed to make the neighbor "go behind his father's saying. The richness of "Mending Wall" is that it offers a hopeful vision of the role property can play in sustaining community, while fully acknowledging that vision's ambiguous prospect.
Though he might convince the reader, the eloquent spokesman for a communitarian conception of property cannot convince his own neighbor. The poem's confrontation between the narrator and the neighbor, and the positions on property they represent, reflect what is perhaps a paradox inherent in the effort to bring the notions of property and community together.
A clue is in the poem's title, which yokes a word that evokes reconnection with a word that evokes separation. This paradoxical juxtaposition generates the poem's dialectical power. It is, in effect, reiterated when the narrator tells how he and his neighbor meet to "set the wall between us once again. University of Oklahoma Notes 1.
See Aristotle, Politics, trans. Sinclair, rev. Saunders New York: Penguin, , II, chap. Knox Oxford: Harvester Wheatsheaf, Modern Library, , p.
For Hobbes, men institute society to protect themselves from the threats posed by each other in the war of all against all; for Locke, men enter into wealth-enhancing economic agreements in advance of government, but since these are threatened by individual wrongdoers, they create civil society to guarantee their rights. Though in The Social Contract Rousseau generally follows Hobbes and Locke in stressing the formal character of men's political ties, in the Discourse on Inequality he provides an account of human social development that stresses the role of a shared way of life moeurs as the bond that unites people in advance of more formal agreements.
See A Discourse on Inequality, trans. Maurice Cranston New York: Penguin, , p. International Publishers, passim, esp. We shall develop the other alternative below. Selected Poems New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, , p. Law Legislation and Liberty, vol. University of Chicago Press, , p. See, e. Mill's defense of individual non-conformity with the settled ways of a community in On Liberty Indianapolis: Hackett, , chap. An Explication Boston: Hall, , p. No one has seen them made or heard them made,.
More by Robert Frost
But at spring mending-time we find them there. To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
And some are loaves and some so nearly balls. We have to use a spell to make them balance: We wear our fingers rough with handling them. And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him. He only says, "Good fences make good neighbours.
Isn't it. Where there are cows?
But here there are no cows. That wants it down. In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
He says again, "Good fences make good neighbours. Poems to integrate into your English Language Arts classroom.That wants it down. A Patch of Old Snow. He died in Boston in But the neighbor does not entertain these thoughts. Kennedy, at whose inauguration Frost delivered a poem, said of the poet, "He has bequeathed his nation a body of imperishable verse from which Americans will forever gain joy and understanding. See A Discourse on Inequality, trans. Often you must have seen them Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning After a rain.