For the speaker of the poem, what does the wall symbolize?   a.harmony and order b.safety and security c.unnatural separations d.good neighbors

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teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The answer would be c)unnatural separations.

In the poem, the speaker or narrator is perplexed at his neighbor's insistence on a wall. According to his neighbor, however, "good fences make good neighbors." To the narrator, walls only cause the divide between neighbors to widen.

He reasons that fences are only good for keeping out cows. Since neither he nor his neighbor owns cattle, the narrator doesn't understand why they would need to build a wall. He also asserts tongue-in-cheek that, since his neighbor grows pine trees while he grows apple trees, neither of them has anything to fear. The narrator's "apple trees will never get across/ And eat the cones under his pines." To the speaker, the only conceivable need to build a wall would be to keep out danger. Since neither he nor his neighbor poses a danger to the other, the speaker does not understand the need for a wall.

The speaker maintains that, if it was up to him, he would ask some very important questions before he built a wall. He would ask what exactly he was supposed to be keeping out and whether the wall would offend anyone. The speaker wonders if the reason they need a wall is because of the elves. Then, shaking off this silly line of reasoning (he's feeling a little mischievous), the narrator admits that he would rather his neighbor be honest with him about the reasons himself. The speaker is frustrated, and he wishes that his neighbor would understand his reasons for not wanting a wall between them.