Robert Frost provides an existential outlook on the human condition, through seemingly simple occurrences in everyday life. His ability to manifest an underlying meaning through seemingly insignificant observations, establishes on a deeper level a more meaningful and thought-provoking context. Specifically, the poem, “Mending Wall” examines human behavior in a contemplative and reflective tone, which invites the reader to ponder the basic philosophy of life. As Frost constantly criticizes man’s need for barriers, the reader is aware of the complexities of life as man is controlled by the restrictive nature of dominant society and the traditions accompany it, thus presenting a profound understanding of the basic values of mankind itself.
In Frost’s narrative poem “ Mending Wall”, the evaluation of the human condition is accompanied by man’s lack of communication and desire to be surrounded by walls. This perpetual need to be concealed by a protective barrier is emphasized by the title itself, “Mending Wall”. Immediately the reader is introduced to a wall that is in the midst of reparation. The notion of “mending” suggest to the audience that the wall shall grow and prosper, however on a metaphorical level, the reader soon realizes that this “mending” ironically performs the opposite of its true purpose, as it rather serves as an obstacle denying the two neighbors from communicating, resulting in the separation and eventual deterioration of their relationship. Hence inevitably highlighting the contradictive nature of man’s inner beliefs from his superficial façade. Furthermore, the poem begins with the unusual syntax of “ Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” The reader is evoked with a sense of obscurity however it become apparently clear that there is something amiss with the setting. This initial depiction of the wall highlights the pragmatic nature of the wall. The further use of sibilance in “the frozen-ground-swell under it and spills the upper boulders in the sun” emphasizes the intense strength of nature in comparison to mankind’s manmade structures. However frost ensures he highlights that nature is not only the one cause for destruction as “the work of hunters [and] yelping dogs “ contributed to the walls downfall. This negative portrayal of mankind and its “yelping” dogs represents mankind as a contributing factor in the ruining of the wall.
Moreover, Frost uses the period of spring as a tool in which he compares the beauty of rejuvenated nature with the selfish and desolate lifestyle of mankind as the neighbors ironically chooses to set the wall up during the “spring mending time”. Frost encapsulates man’s constant need to conform to the dominant traditions of society to ensure status quo is achieved; this is identified through the “spring mending-time …I let my neighbor know beyond the hill.” Through this almost second nature reaction to the onset of spring, we see each neighbor