A detailed analysis of the themes, structure, symbolism, and background of Frost’s poem “Mending Wall.” Its famous first line, “Something there is that does not love a wall,” was used in President John Kennedy’s 1963 speech before the infamous Berlin Wall. Its contrapuntal line, “Good fences make good neighbors,” is also much quoted.
The four-page student handout section, which has blanks which your students can fill in, is suitable as an in-class activity or for homework. An Answer Key is provided on separate sheets.
Not as part of the student handout are two pages of additional notes on “Mending Wall,” including Frost’s own comments on the poem, and a general discussion of Frost’s life and the themes and stylistic features of his poetry. Some of these comments you may wish to incorporate into your class’s discussion of “Mending Wall.”
Prepared by Professor William Tarvin, Ph.D., who has published many articles on literature in scholarly journals.