POEM: – MENDING WALL
Robert Frost was born on March 26, 1874, in San Francisco, where his father, William Prescott Frost Jr., and his mother, Isabelle Moodie, had moved from Pennsylvania shortly after marrying. After the death of his father from tuberculosis when Frost was eleven years old, he moved with his mother and sister, Jeanie, who was two years younger, to Lawrence, Massachusetts. He became interested in reading and writing poetry during his high school years in Lawrence, enrolled at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1892, and later at Harvard University in Boston, though he never earned a formal college degree. Robert Frost lived and taught for many years in Massachusetts and Vermont, and died in Boston on January 29, 1963.
V. Question & Answers
1. What is the reason for the poet to say „something there is that doesn‟t love a wall‟ in Robert Frost‟s poem Mending Wall?
Ans: – The speaker of the poem says so because he has experienced that „something‟ is there that causes the cold ground under the wall to swell and burst. The ground bursts in a way that the boulders come spitting out from within to the outside automatically. This „something‟ is the unseen force of nature. According to the speaker, the nature breaks the wall because it does not like it to stay there.
w would you describe the speaker and his tone in Mending Wall?
Ans: – The poet was of friendly nature and open minded, so he took the wall as barrier between friendship. He even tried to convince his neighbour about the ill-effects of wall in maintaining a healthy relationship. His tone is pensive (sad) due to the wall. He is practical and wistful. He always talks about the importance of friendship.
3. Why does the poet meet his neighbour beyond the hill at spring?
Ans: – The poet meets his neighbour beyond the hill at spring because he was looking forward to meeting his neighbour to break his isolation and to make friendship with him.
4. How do the poet and his neighbour mend the gaps in the wall?
Ans: – The author and his neighbour try hard to balance the broken wall. They make use of stones and repair it. Meanwhile handling the stones, they even injure their fingers.
5. Why does the poet argue that there is no need of a wall in between his estate and that of his neighbour?
Ans: – The speaker points out that they have adjoining fields that will not affect the other’s crop because there are only pine trees and apple trees in his estate in his neighbour’s estate and cows can do no harm. In fact the wall could be an insult to their friendship as neighbours.
6. Why does the poet say that there is something that doesn’t love a wall?
Ans: – The expression literally means that there is something in nature that seems to dislike walls. But in the poem “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost, we also get the impression that the author is talking about things other than Nature alone. With the words “Something there is. He means that there is something in human nature that doesn’t like walls. Frost is here revealing his own attitude. He goes on to say that there are people who believe that good fences make good neighbours. But there are others also who believe that there is no need for such a wall. What the poet really means is that there should not be any barrier that separates man from man
7. How does the neighbour justify the need for walls prefences?
Ans: – The neighbour justifies the need for walls or fences saying that ‘Good fences make good neighbours. This is perhaps the most important line of the poem and is repeated at the end of the poem. The neighbour here states that there is a moral principle behind mending the walls. There seems to be a contradiction within this principle. The neighbour believes that separation is the best means for the neighbours to get on. It’s like saying they should keep their distance, so they can be good neighbours. This type of relationship is based on respect rather than friendship.
8. Why does the poet consider the spring season mischievous?
Ans: – The spring season due to its colours and vibrance and energy brings out the child in the poet. The poet remains in a playful mood. Hence the mischievous mood of the poet is attributed to the season.
9. What are the contrasting views presented in the poem?
Ans: – The poem presents two different people with two different views. While one person sticks on to the necessity of building walls to sustain good relations, the other disagrees with this argument. The views are contrasted through the ideals of the author and his neighbour. The speaker thinks that there is no need for walls. He notes that nature tries to knock them down. But the neighbour keeps insisting that “good fences make good neighbours.”