What are the two points of view presented in Robert Frost's poem "Mending Wall," and how might a reader respond to them?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The speaker is a person who likes to question tradition and do what seems to make rational sense. Therefore, getting together each year with his neighbor to repair the winter damage to the stone wall that divides their property seems like a waste of time. He notes that neither of them raises livestock, so it makes no sense for them to worry about a wall: livestock from either farm isn't going to wander and do damage. The speaker wishes to give up this laborious wall mending task.

His neighbor, however, has a completely different point of view. His father taught him that good fences make good neighbors, and he sticks with that traditional wisdom in a dogged way. He has no desire to change a custom that goes back many years and seems to serve him well.

The speaker is quite persuasive, though. In fact, he implies his neighbor is living in the stone age:

an old-stone savage armed.
He moves in darkness as it seems to me ...

The neighbor does has some logic on his side. First, the fence repair...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 927 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

Posted on