How does the process of rebuilding the wall reveal the relationship between the two neighbors in "Mending Wall"?

The process of rebuilding the wall reveals that the relationship between the neighbors is cordial but not overly friendly or deep.

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"Mending Wall" is a wonderful poem by Robert Frost, and I think it accurately highlights a fairly stereotypical relationship that exists between most neighbors that are separated by a wall or fence.

The poem begins with the narrator telling readers that many things exist that work against the structural integrity of the wall that separates his property from his neighbor's property. Things from frozen groundswell to hunters and dogs constantly work to tear down sections of the wall. Each spring the narrator reaches out to his neighbor to tell him that the wall needs mending. He and the neighbor then meet to walk along the wall and repair the various sections. In my opinion, I think this says a lot about the relationship between the neighbors. The relationship is in a good enough place where the narrator feels comfortable reaching out to his neighbor for help, and the neighbor agrees to help. The relationship is at a point where they agree to spend time working closely together to fix a common problem.

As the narrator and neighbor walk along the wall to fix it, there is not much conversation. It's clear that the narrator has thought deeply about the purpose of the wall. He brings up the difference in tree types and points out that the wall isn't necessary for keeping the trees separated. The narrator even tries to banter lightly with some "mischief"; however, the neighbor doesn't engage more than responding with "good fences make good neighbors." The relationship is cordial. The relationship is good enough for them to work together, but the relationship isn't the kind of relationship where the men are mentally, emotionally, and socially supporting each other. The bond is over doing the task, and when the task is done, the bond is set aside until next spring.

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