The Road Not Taken

The Road Not Taken

On the surface “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost is a poem about a man who is on a journey and comes to a fork in the road. He is faced with what seems to be a very casual decision about which way to go on his stroll in the woods. Should he go to the right or to the left? Is there a difference? In reality, the poem represents everything from which car to purchase to the more impacting decisions that people have to make at life’s forks in the roads they travel. While some of these decisions may seem insignificant at the time, they all have permanent, lasting affects. Frost doesn’t mess around with preliminaries. Right away he places himself at a fork in the road. The first line, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood”, has Frost confronted with two seemingly good choices. The first choice seems pleasant enough, “And looked down one as far as I could; To where it bent in the undergrowth” ( lines 4 & 5) but is ordinary with no distinguishing features. The second choice is more appealing, “And have perhaps the better claim” (line 7), “Because it was more grassy and wanted wear” (line 8). Although Frost doesn’t regret his choice, he does wonder what the other road holds for him, “I shall be telling this with a sigh” (line 16). Maybe in his own life he (Frost) made the choice to become a poet instead of another, safer profession, but he know his poetry will endure when he writes “Somewhere ages and ages hence” (line 17A). Frost uses symbolism as the main theme of this poem. Line one, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood” (line 1) refers to the choices people are faced with in the course of life. “Though as for that the passing there” (line 9) “Had worn them really about the same” (line 10) talks about each road seemingly having the same consequence or prospect. Only after taking one of the roads is the truth revealed, but only about one of the roads. The traveler is left wonder…


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