What is the symbolism used in the poem "Mending Wall" by Robert Frost?  

Symbols used in the poem "Mending Wall" by Robert Frost include the wall itself, the apple orchard, the pine trees, and the reference to this being a "game" for the neighbors.

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The main symbol in the poem is the wall itself. The wall in question is a low stone structure that marks the dividing line between the speaker's farm and his neighbor's farm. Every winter, the wall gets damaged—stones fall away or are displaced by hunters—and the two men meet to repair the wall when warmer weather returns.
The wall symbolizes good boundaries, especially in the repeated phrase, "good fences making good neighbors." However, the wall also symbolizes community. Repairing the wall brings the two together in a yearly ritual that helps them remain good neighbors by bonding. They talk, they joke, and they complete a project together. For all that the speaker complains about the wall being unnecessary, he seems to enjoy this annual ritual of repairing it. Ironically, he is the one who initiates it in the spring:
I let my neighbor know.
Another symbol Frost employs in this poem is darkness. As the speaker notes of his neighbor,
He moves in darkness as it seems to me,
Not of woods only and the shade of trees.
Here, darkness symbolizes ignorance. The speaker sees his neighbor as backward and tradition bound for insisting on completing this yearly ritual even though neither of them has livestock that could wander over the property line. Seeing his neighbor carrying a rock grasped from the top in either hand, the speaker even likens him to an "old-stone savage armed."
Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 8, 2020
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The primary symbol in "Mending Wall" is the wall itself. The speaker and his neighbor meet to mend and reconstruct this wall, as they do each year, and they engage in a conversation about the real purpose of the wall. His neighbor believes that the wall, and therefore physical divisions, are necessary to maintain peace. By clearly marking the divisions of their properties, the neighbor believes that they will be able to avoid future conflicts.

The speaker doesn't agree, believing instead that the wall is pointless. The wall divides the speaker's apple orchard from his neighbor's pine trees; the apple trees are not going to cross the property lines, anyway. Yet his neighbor simply repeats an old adage in response to this observation, reminding the speaker that "good fences make good neighbors."

This demonstrates that his need for division is based in tradition and without much thought about the need for those barriers. The wall is symbolic of all the ways humans divide themselves, questioning whether those divisions are successful in maintaining a sense of peace or if the walls themselves represent a sense of cynicism about coexisting with others peacefully.

It is interesting that the speaker grows apple trees. Apples are often symbolic of knowledge, which symbolizes the speaker's sense of wisdom in this conversation. Instead of blindly accepting tradition, he questions whether he and his neighbor benefit from their continual efforts to maintain a division between them.

The pine tree often symbolizes kinship and peace in literature. The neighbor's property is covered in pines. He is focused exclusively on maintaining peace through divisions, believing that his relationship with the speaker depends on clear barriers. He means no ill will toward the speaker and instead focuses on making steady progress through their efforts to reconstruct the deteriorating segments of their wall.

The speaker reflects that this yearly activity is an "out-door game / One on a side." This is symbolic of the outcome of divisions, alluding to the fact that games create both winners and losers.

The symbolism in the poem raises questions about the "walls" in our societies but allows the reader to draw their own conclusions regarding the need for those divisions.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on December 8, 2020
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Major Symbols
The major symbols in "Mending Wall" are the stone wall and the "fences" spoken of by the neighboring farmer: "He only says, 'Good fences make good neighbours.'" Each slightly different from the other, both symbolize the artificial and deliberately constructed barriers humans seem inevitably to erect between themselves.

There are two attitudes toward these barriers conveyed in the poem. The first is that of the speaker, who seems to have a tolerant, amused attitude, although, being the poetic soul he is, his amusement is soon off-set by contemplative musings. The second attitude is that of the neighbor, who seems to have a serious, dutiful, no-nonsense attitude, which remains undeterred when the speaker tries to engage him in riddles about the superfluity of walls:

Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head:
"Why do they make good neighbours?...
[...]
...I'd ask to know
What I was walling in or walling out,..."

Another important symbol is the twice-said "Something there is that doesn't love a wall...," which is philosophically off-set by the twice-said "Good fences make good neighbours." Frost's metaphysically speculative observation of the "something" that doesn't love a wall can be taken literally as illustrated in the second line, which describes ground heaves of winter's frozen earth [today in New England, brightly colored strings are stapled to utility poles warning drivers of "Ground Heave," which can buckle roads up into ridges one or even two feet high]: "That sends the frozen-ground-swell under it,...." The symbolic meaning of this "something" relates to the paradoxical desire in humans for psychological and emotional intimacy even while erecting barriers to such intimacy: "something" is the hesitance to be known paradoxically opposing the desire to be known.

Secondary Symbols
There are secondary symbols in "Mending Wall." Some are "spills" and "gaps," paradoxically symbolizing either (a) damage leading to vulnerability, such as hunters (symbolizing careless, destructive people) in pursuit of symbolically innocent rabbits, or (b) openings leading to opportunities, such as are created by "something," perhaps an inner "ground-swell" of psychological expansion. Another symbol is "spring mending-time," symbolic of a cyclical opportunity for renewal that continually offers new chances at the psychological and emotional intimacy desired (and, from the mending wall neighbor, continually resisted). 

Another significant symbol is the place, a specific section along the neighbor's wall, where there is no need for a wall: "There where it is we do not need the wall." This place symbolizes a recurring opportunity between people to find the desired connectedness, perhaps in ever-present social situations in which renewal of opportunity is present on a recurring basis.

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