Can you identify examples of alliteration, assonance, simile, metaphor, and paradox in "Mending Wall"?

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Many have argued that the entire poem is a metaphor, though Robert Frost cautioned against reinterpretation by those who read the poem's wall or fence as the Berlin Wall and the poem as standing for the Cold War.

The neighbor's motto is a paradox: if the neighbors were really good neighbors, they would not really need a fence. The narrator teasingly points to this contradiction.

There is only one simile, using like in comparing the neighbor to a savage:

like an old-stone savage armed.

Within the personification of the trees, one finds a metaphor for inappropriate border-crossing, for the trees can only figuratively move or eat.

My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines....

The neighbor's negative attitude is metaphorically compared to darkness:

He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.

Frost uses alliteration sparingly; in contrast, assonance abounds. Alliteration, repeated consonant sounds, can be seen in the "s" and closely related "z" sounds:

That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,
And spills the upper boulders in the sun....

Assonance, repeated vowel sounds, from the first line draw repeatedly on sounds equivalent to or very near the "aw" in "wall," such as "oh" and "uh."

Something there is that doesn't love a wall....

Where they have left not one stone on a stone....

And some are loaves and some so nearly balls....

One on a side. It comes to little more....

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Well, the guidelines of this website allow for one question a day, but I can try to help you with at least one of the questions that you posed.

I can help you to find examples of similes and metaphors in the poem "Mending Wall".  Metaphor is when you compare two things that have similar attributes.  For example, in the poem, Frost compares the shape of some of the rocks that have fallen out of the wall to "loaves" and "balls", which makes it difficult for them to put them back into the wall, because of all of the rounded edges.  They won't stay put.  He says to get them to stay, "we have to use a spell to make them balance."  It is not a literal spell; he is just saying that the balancing act they have to do is similar to chanting a mysterious spell it is so difficult, which is another metaphor.

Similes are the same as metaphors, just comparing two things to each other using the words "like" or "as".  Near the end of the poem, Frost describes his neighbor hauling huge rocks, and says he is "like an old-stone savage armed."  The image of his neighbor carrying a stone towards him makes him think back to days when savage men used rocks as weapons against each other; it just affirms his feeling that walls are uneccessary and outdated in their world.

I hope that those thoughts helped; good luck with the poem!

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