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The two main characters are obviously farmes who take care of their land during all seasons. The first, the narrator of the poem, details the different ways in which the walls change and the ways in which they need to be repaired. For him, each change seems to suggest ways in which people could change. He would prefer not to have a wall in some places; he wants, for example, to avoid a wall in the part of the pasture in which the two tree stands do not infringe on the other property. The neighbor, however, seems tied to that which is conventional and traditional. His answer that "good fences make good neighbors" comes from his father who would symbolically represent a sticking with the "way things have always been done." The narrator seems very forward looking and desirous of knowing what changes could be made; the neighbor wants only to remain the same.