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Poetry: Metaphor, Symbolism and Theme

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1) The wall is a metaphor for the barriers we place between ourselves and others. It can represent an emotional, mental or even a physical barrier we want to create. We all need our personal space around us which some call our personal bubble. Therefore we feel the need to define that space by building physical boundaries around it. “We keep the wall between us as we go.” (line fifteen of “The Mending Wall” by Robert Frost). In this line, Frost is speaking about the wall which is put up between two people as to not get too close to one an other, out of fear perhaps, or just to protect one’s self.

2) The poem is forty-five lines long written without stanzas. The poem seems to be built like a wall, without any breaks in it. Just as there aren’t any breaks in a wall. The poem is all one block just like the long block of a conversation the two neighbors have throughout the poem. “Good fences make good neighbors.” (line twenty seven of “The Mending Wall” by Robert Frost). This line shows that the neighbor want to keep up the barriers between them and the poem being in one block reflects that well.

3) “Beyond the hill” (twelfth line of “The Mending Wall by Robert Frost) tells us the wall divides large rural properties. The line “The work of hunters” (line five of “The Mending Wall” by Robert Frost) lets us know that if hunting is present, the story most definitely takes place in a rural area and lastly, “He is all pine and I am apple orchard” (line twenty four of “The Mending Wall” by Robert Frost) is an implication that they are in an agricultural land.

4) “Good fences make good neighbors” (line twenty seven of “The Mending Wall” by Robert Frost) is a statement that is also used today. This statement can be taken literally or not and is clear to everyone and universal. If we respect our neighbors’ property he will in turn respect our own. The wall may seem unfriendly but it ensures the quality of relationship between two neighbors. Today in the city of Vancouver people tend to be respectful so we do not build physical walls between properties but everyone knows where the divide of relationship and property lies.

5) “To each the boulders that have fallen to each” (line sixteen of “The Mending Wall” by Robert Frost) is a metaphor where Frost is describing the stones by saying they are like loaves or balls. “Oh, just another kind of outdoor game” (line twenty one of “The Mending Wall” by Robert Frost) is Frost saying that collecting the stones to rebuild the wall is like an outdoor game.

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