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Mending Wall

Mending Wall


by Robert Frost

Mending Wall Exploration Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (line)

Quote #1

But they would have the rabbit out of hiding,
To please the yelping dogs. The gaps I mean, (lines 8-9)

Does exploration involve an end-goal? Like the speaker trying to solve the mystery of the wall, these hunters try to corner little bunny rabbits. If we follow this comparison through, the hunters parallel the "something" that doesn’t love a wall, and the bunny rabbits parallel, perhaps, the meaning of the wall. Can it be that we, the readers of this poem, are like the hunters, too? Are we trying to find something or figure something out, as well?

Quote #2

No one has seen them made or heard them made,
But at spring mending-time we find them there. (lines 10-11)

You can’t explore something if you know what’s already there! Mending the wall continues as an annual ritual because our speaker and his neighbor do not know what causes the wall’s destruction. To us, line 10 creates a sense of mystery and of the supernatural. The process of mending the wall is very logical and methodical, but it is the result of a very illogical and unknown chain of events. Does the speaker make a whole-hearted attempt to figure out the identity of the wall-destroying culprits in this poem? Or, does he give up on that task?

Quote #3

Spring is the mischief in me, and I wonder
If I could put a notion in his head: (lines 28-29)

Does the speaker seem a little arrogant to you here? Why doesn’t he just express this notion, rather than wonder if he can somehow magically make his neighbor rethink the whole wall thing? How can anyone go about putting a notion in another person’s head? At this moment, the speaker seems to explore the realms of his neighbor’s mind.

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