In "Mending Wall," by Robert Frost, how do fences makes good neighbors?

Expert Answers
bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Poet Robert Frost uses the wall as a metaphor to symbolize many things in his famous poem. In its concrete form, the stone wall serves to unify its neighbors each spring when the ground thaws, causing a swelling in which many of the stones are dislodged. The neighbors, who rarely speak or communicate during other times of the year, work together on opposite sides of the wall, mending its damaged sections. The word "mending" also serves to help the neighbors reconnect verbally each spring, patching up a friendship that is based entirely upon their shared stone fence. The phrase "Good fences make good neighbors" is totally appropriate: Rather than leave the fence to further deteriorate after each winter ends, the two men repair the fence, thereby making it good again; by working together, the two men maintain their neighborly, if otherwise distant, connection.