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The Road Not Taken Essay

787 words - 4 pages

"The Road Not Taken"The poem itself is about the road not taken, not neccessarily about the road less traveled. There are four stressed syllables per line, varying on an iambic tetrameter base. Robert Frosts' tone and setting helped to illustrate the struggle a person goes through in choosing the "right" road to travel. The figurative language used creates an aura of remorse over not being able to travel both roads. The speaker knows that he will second-guess his decision at some point and time, wondering what might have been. The nature of the decision is such that there is no right or wrong path, but rather only the road chosen.The narrator of the poem comes to a point in the woods where he is forced to choose one of two different roads to travel. Both paths are equally covered with un-worn leaves. The narrator chooses one, telling himself that he will take the other another day. However, he knows it is doubtful that he will have the opportunity to do so ...view middle of the document...

The first of two paths is the more common than the other, which "wanted wear". Frost presents a classic conflict, the decision between a common path and a road less traveled..Knowing both of the paths cannot be traveled, Frost hesitantly chooses the second of two roads. He expresses his disappointment in not being able to take both roads simultaneously. "Oh I keep the first for another day!" (line 13) he hurriedly states. This is said with excitement at the mere thought of being able to some day return and travel down the other road. The narrator proceeds down the second path thinking, "I doubted if I should ever come back" (Line 15), as he realizes the truth. There is no going back. One choice leads to another and sooner or later the path becomes forgotten or impossible for one to return and choose differently.Then, the question arises; Which road is actually was the one "less traveled"? Speaking of the two roads, Frost says, "the passing there/ had worn them really about the same". (line9, 10). The statement, "that morning equally lay, in leaves no step had trodden black" (line 11) insinuates that neither road was less traveled than the other. They were both equal. The narrator chooses his path not because it was less traveled but, "Because it was grassy". This illustrates one of the major human flaws: making decisions based upon outside appearances alone. Our narrator in actuality took the road most scenic.The last stanza of the poem seems to get the most attention. This classic poem presentsa modern day dilemma. When the last two lines are taken out of context they can be somewhat inspiring. However, the first two lines are critical in understanding the true meaning of "The Road Not Taken". The speaker anticipates his own future regret, "I shall be telling this with a sigh/somewhere ages and ages hence:"(line 16/17). His need, later in life, is to rearrange thefacts. He knows that he will be disappointed when he reflects on his life. Frost predicts thathis future self will betray his decision. The "sigh" gives is away. It foreshadowes remorse inwhat he's about to say, "I took the road less traveled by, And that made all thedifference". Somewhere, in the back of his mind, will remain the image of yellow woods andtwo equally worn paths.

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