Robert Frost’s ‘Mending Wall’ prompts readers to think of the walls that separate human beings. Sometimes we may want to break the barriers of nationality, caste and creed. We may also want to let others in – into our houses, into our minds. Sometimes we may want to build up walls. That is when we realise how opening up ourselves may become dangerous.
‘Mending Wall’ prompts us to think of tolerance and fraternity and the need for accepting other people’s views.
Notes on ‘Mending Wall’ by Robert Frost
- Read the poem ‘Poison Tree’ by William Blake and prepare a review comparing it with ‘Mending Wall’ by Robert Frost.
- Read the following excerpt and answer the questions that follow.
I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed.
- Who speaks these lines?
- Who is referred to as ‘old stone savage’?
- Comment on the last line of this stanza.
- Imagine you are the poet’s neighbour in ‘Mending Wall’. You want to justify your view point that “Good fences make good neighbours”. Present your reasons in the form of two arguments.
- Read the poem A FENCE by Carl Sandburg and compare it with ‘Mending Wall’ by Robert Frost.
‘Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,
That sends a frozen-ground-swell under it
And spills the upper boulders in the sun,
And makes gaps even two can pass abreast.’
Keeping in view the socio-cultural scenario of our nation write a paragraph elaborating the idea conveyed by Robert Frost in ‘Mending Wall’. (Score: 4)
- “What I was walling in or walling out” is a line from ‘Mending Wall’ by Robert Frost. Bring out the contrasting pictures presented in this line. How do these expressions match with the central theme of ‘Mending Wall’? (Score: 4)
‘My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines’
In the light of your reading of the poem ‘Mending Wall’, prepare a write- up expressing your views on the above quoted lines. (Score: 4)
- Read the following lines from the poem and answer the questions given below.
The work of hunters is another thing:
I have come after them and made repair
Where they would have left not one stone on a stone,
But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs.
- How do the hunters damage the walls?
- Why do they drive the rabbits out?
- What does the poet do after the hunters leave?
- Read the following lines from the poem ‘Mending Wall’ by Robert Frost and bring out the difference in attitude between the poet and his neighbour.
He is all pine and I am apple orchard.
My apple trees will never get across
And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him.’
He only says, “Good fences make good neighbours.”
- Bring out the symbolic significance of the ‘wall’ in the poem ‘Mending Wall.’ (Score: 5)