Mending the Wall Vs The Road not Taken

Introduction

Critical reading of poetry and prose enhances the analysis instrumental in establishing how different pieces of literal work differ in terms of structure, purpose, theme, language and form. It involves assessing the literary techniques, the language choice, imagery, structure and evaluates how such tools have been utilized to achieve different effects in prose.  This paper compares and contrasts two of Robert Frost’s literary pieces, Mending the Wall [1914] and The Road not Taken [1916] in terms of structure and thematic composition. It examines closely Frost’s writing style and the manner of language application.

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An Abridgment of Two Literal Works

Mending the Wall 1914 by Robert Frost is a piece of literary work that revolves around a stone wall that separates the persona’s property from that of his neighbor. While both meet to walk the wall and make repairs every spring, the speaker does not see the rationale to keep the wall since there are’ no cows to contain, just pine trees and apples. His neighbor, contrariwise, emphasizes that it is crucial to maintain the wall in a bid to preserve their relationship. The neighbor holds that the wall should remain with the belief that good walls make good neighbors.   During the fixing of the wall, the speaker endeavors to persuade his neighbor otherwise. In addition, he indicts him of embracing firmly the antiquated tradition. Regardless of what the narrator articulates, however, the neighbor is not willing to change his position reiterating that only: “Good fences make good neighbors.”

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The character encapsulated in the Robert Frost’s 1916 The Road Not Taken, finds himself standing in the woods in deliberation of a divide in the road. Concluding that each one is equally well-trekked and alluring, the persona decides to take one of the ways, although acknowledging that both are similarly worn and likewise draped. The speaker admits that someday in the future he will recreate the scene with the claim that he took the less-trodden path with a minor twist with the knowledge that he might not have an occasion to do so.  The speaker culminates on a wistful feeling, speculating how things might have been different if he had chosen the first route.

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Evaluating the Structural Disparities

The poem The Road Not Taken, is constitutes of four couplets of each made up of five lines, all forming an ABAAB rhyme scheme. However, there is an outstanding exclusion of the last line. Each line has four stressed syllables that fluctuate on an iambic tetrameter base.  The poem can be considered as a nostalgic observation on choices of life. The narrator highlights his decision to choose the road that is less travelled and points out that his life would have been necessarily dissimilar if he had made the other choice. Making a choice of taking one of the two roads short of having any awareness regarding where each lead demonstrates the courage of the persona in taking ‘the less travelled road’ as opposed to taking the seemingly bland path traveled by others. It should be noted that the speaker only makes a discrimination of the two roads the paths subsequent to his selection of one. At the start, the paths are characterized as being primarily undistinguishable. With respect to exquisiteness, both routes are equally “fair,” and the overall “…passing there / Had worn them really about the same.”[Frost, 1916].

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The baseline meter of poem Mending the Wall is blank verse, although some of the lines fit alongside the blank verse’s distinctive lock-step iambs, five abreast. The author does not structure the literary piece with stanzas, and instead maintains forty-five lines of narration in the first person. The poet preserves a number of five stressed syllables for every line. However, the feet vary broadly hence maintaining the normal speech-like eminence of the poetry. Frost offers no stanza breaks blended with noticeable end-rhymes. Nonetheless, most of the end-words are analogous in assonance such as wall, hill, balls, wall. Another set of assonance is in sun, thing, stone, mean, line, and again.  Additionally, game, them, and him presents another set of shared assonance. There are two Internal rhymes which can be taken as restrained, imbalanced, and this is indicative that they are plausibly spontaneous. The poet makes use of no fancy words making his vocabulary one of all of a piece and conversational except for only the word another, that has three syllables. It ensues therefore that the words reverberate so exceptionally together both in sound and feel.

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Thematic Contrast of the Two Literal Works by Robert Frost

Evaluating the theme in The Road Not taken, it is apparent that the two presented roads are not only passing through the woods, but they are instead leading down two diverse routes in life. This can therefore justify the thoughtfulness displayed by the narrator. Although at the outset, the two roads appear to be the similar; one can appreciate the differences that will certainly result in different outcomes, following further scrutiny. [Frost, 1916], in line seven divulges that the path embraces only “perhaps the better claim,” since the dissimilarities between the two roads is so little. This informs the difficulty in the speaker to be absolutely certain in his decision. Throughout the entire poem, the road symbolism illuminates on the nature of individual’s social thought and indecision. It illustrates the difficulty experienced in making a choice whose outcome affects an individual’s life while accentuating the essence of human curiosity.

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It is only later in life that the narrator suggests to gaze back on his life and decides to place such importance on this particular decision in his life. In the course of the leading three verses, the narrator displays no sense of compunction subsequent to his resolution. Similarly he does not concede that such a judgment might be imperative to his life. Hitherto, in old age, the narrator stabs to offer logic of order to the decisions of his past. In so doing he attempts to illuminate the reason why particular occurrences might have transpired in his life. Certainly, the justification that he opted for the “less traveled road” seems deceitful.  Nevertheless, the speaker firmly holds to his resolution, implying it to be a crucial instant in his life.

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In Mending the Wall, Frost produces two discrete characters whose ideas contrast about what unerringly constitutes good neighborhood. The speaker censures the neighbor’s fixation with renovating the wall and underlines the view that this is in essence old-fashioned and antiquated. All together, he retorts that his apples will not occupy the pinecones on neighbor’s property.  Additionally, the speaker asks whether ‘within a land of such of such freedom and discovery, are such borders necessary to maintain relationships between people?’ Notwithstanding the speaker’s incredulous opinion of the wall his neighbor holds to his apparently “outdated” attitude. This is accentuated in his reactions to each of the speaker’s discontented requests and reasoning with nothing else but the maxim: “Good fences make good neighbors.” The speaker highlights that the action of fixing the wall is in contravention to nature. This is indicated by the fact that year in, year out stones are extricated and cavities abruptly appear all short of reason. Subsequently the two neighbors seal the gaps and supplant the fallen boulders, just to witness the parts of the wall fall over again in the coming days. It looks as if nature is struggling to abolish the barricades that men have produced on the land.

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