Why is the title of "Mending Wall" significant?

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The title of "Mending Wall" is significant because it has two meanings, one literal and the other figurative. This adds a deliberate sense of ambiguity to the title. The poem's speaker and his neighbor are literally mending a wall. Every year they meet at the edge of their properties to engage in the task of repairing this stone wall. In this sense, the word mending functions as a verb. It refers to the clear action that is taking place.

On the other hand, you could read mending as an adjective. This gives the title a more figurative meaning. Read this way, it is the wall itself that is doing the mending. The speaker's neighbor holds the opinion that "Good fences make good neighbors". He feels that a wall can mend relationships between people. The speaker disagrees. However, it gets the reader to consider the function of a wall. As we read the poem, we are meant to ask ourselves if a wall can actually do any mending of its own.

Since the speaker does not seem to think so, there is an irony to this title. Walls, he feels, divide people. They actually serve to fracture relationships. Furthermore, nature itself destroys this wall every year, requiring that it be mended. Walls are not natural structures. Not all walls are made of stone either. There are also the walls that we erect between ourselves and speaking our true feelings. Indeed, the speaker does not tell his neighbor his true doubts about the necessity of their wall.

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