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Mending Wall

Mending Wall

by Robert Frost

Tradition and Customs Quotes Page 2

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #4

[…] I see him there
Bringing a stone grasped firmly by the top
In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed. (lines 39-41)

Why is it important to know that the neighbor grasps a stone firmly from the top? What does this gesture look like? The word "armed’ is kind of a violent word, and we realize that the neighbor looks like a caveman ready to attack. In this way, the neighbor represents a physically threatening tradition.

Quote #5

He will not go behind his father’s saying,
And he likes having thought of it so well (lines 44-45)

But, if the proverb is his father’s saying, why is the neighbor so smug about it? It’s not like he comes up with the proverb. The speaker here paints the portrait of a man very intent on living, talking, and existing like those who have come before him. This man strives to replicate, rather than create, it seems.