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Character Analysis in Mending Wall

Character Analysis Examples in Mending Wall:

Mending Wall

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"He moves in darkness as it seems to me, Not of woods only and the shade of trees...."   (Mending Wall)

The Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung devised the concept of the human “shadow,” which refers to all the aspects of human nature of which an individual is unconscious. According to Jung’s account, each person represses a number of natural impulses and behaviours in order to exist within a family and a society. The stifled sides of human nature form one’s shadow. In this pair of lines, Frost’s narrator momentarily witnesses his neighbor’s shadow, characterized as a “darkness” and a wildness. As the imagery of the savage showed, the neighbour’s shadow side “doesn’t love [the] wall.” Yet the man builds the wall nonetheless.

"I tell him. He only says,..."   (Mending Wall)

The neighbor’s response to the narrator underscores the difference between the two men. The neighbor speaks twice in the poem, twice offering the same proverb. That the neighbor “only” borrows and repeats these words shows his alignment with tradition. The narrator, by contrast, seeks to dismantle the wall and the traditional thinking it represents.

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