Impact Robert Frost’s Poetry on Society

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The poet Robert Frost became famous through the impact of his poems on society during his time. In Robert Frost’s two poems Mending Wall and The Cow in Apple Time, he utilizes extended metaphors to convey the futility of creating boundaries with walls. The literary elements found throughout The Cow in Apple Time help convey the meaning of the extended metaphor that compares the cow to humans in real life; the extended metaphor also conveys that sometimes walls(both metaphorically and physically) are unnecessary and can be a waste of effort and time. In The Cow in Apple Time, the cow encounters a wall and thinks no more of[the] wall than an open gate(2), which then causes trouble for the owner of the apple orchard. Because the cow still gets to the other side, the wall poses as a useless obstacle. Frost compares the cow breaking the wall and taking the apples to people in real life getting past barriers. At some point, people have to reconnect, which makes these walls pointless as the people still get together which the wall was trying to prevent. The cow also runs from tree to tree where lie sweeten[d](7) apples and eats them.

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The cow eats more apples than it needs, so the owner loses more apples than he might have otherwise. The cow running from tree to tree to quickly eat the apples can be compared to how people in real life know that they might have to go back to the other side of the wall. The fear in these people causes them to move fast, as the cow did. The cow ate many apples very quickly which causes her to get sick and her udder shrivels and the milk goes dry(11). The fact that the cow ate the apples quickly, and got sick from it, demonstrates that the cow is in a rush and might not have the chance to eat the apples later on which reveals that the wall motivates the cow to eat more apples. As a result, the cow gets sick and Frost uses this image to imply that walls only create more problems for the people they are separating. The people get across anyways, and as a result, the wall is pointless because it did not do what it was meant to do. This relates to many political, religious, and physical borders in real life that are in place for many unnecessary reasons. In his poem Mending Wall, Frost employs the extended metaphor between people in society and the wall itself to convey that walls are sometimes built for unnecessary reasons.

The speaker and his neighbor have different beliefs of the wall that separates them, and after it breaks, the two meet to walk the line/ And set the wall between us once again(13-15). Although the two build the wall together the speaker would ask what he was walling in or walling out() and questions whether the wall should even be built in the first place, indicating that the wall might be unnecessary. The speaker’s questioning of the wall illustrates a person’s need to express his thoughts which is denied when these useless walls are built. while building the wall, the neighbor brings a stone grasped firmly by the top/ In each hand, like an old-stone savage armed(39-40). This simile compares the neighbor to an old-stone savage armed which implies that the neighbor is acting not on his own will, but rather the will of his father, which explains why Frost chose to say old-stone; to show that the neighbor followed archaic beliefs.

According to the speaker, the neighbor moves in darkness(41) and will not go behind his father’s saying(43). The darkness that the neighbor is moving in symbolizes the ignorance in his actions as he is only following the beliefs of his ancestors and not his own and because of this does not question the decision to rebuild the wall. He was told and always says ‘Good fences make good neighbors'() and continues to follow this belief that was not his own but his father’s just as the idea to rebuild the wall was. People should sometimes build walls, but in the case of the neighbor and the speaker, it is not there for any particular reason and is an unnecessary border that has separated the two persons and exists because of archaic beliefs. Frost uses the extended metaphor of these two poems to represent the unnecessary creation of borders that separate ideas that do not need to be separated. ADD BRIDGE. Walls can be found everywhere but can sometimes be unnecessary.

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Impact Robert Frost's Poetry on Society. (2019, Aug 08). Retrieved December 4, 2022 , from

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