An Analysis of Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken
In "The Road Not Taken," by Robert Frost, many questions arose about the meaning of the poem. One common interpretation of the poem about assertion of individualism, where the speaker is taking the road not traveled so that he can assert his individualism, is a nice interpretation. However, I believe that the speaker is really having a hard time making up his mind, and the poem is a conversation with himself trying to rationalize his decision. It seems as if both ways might lead to great occurrences, but only one way is the right way. There are four points in the poem that stick out where the speaker is either vague and unclear or contradictory in evaluating his choices. The first is in the first stanza where it says "And sorry I could not travel both"(2). The second point is contradictory and between lines seven through ten particularly, where the speaker is musing over which path to take. Another particularly interesting point is in line thirteen where it says, "Oh, I kept the first for another day!" And the final point to look at is in line sixteen where Frost writes the vague word "sigh," with no further explanation as to its connotation.
"And sorry I could not travel both" (2). This seems to be a no-brainer observation, but also one that many struggle with. The choices that are made in day-to-day lives are ones that will stick with that person forever, and many times it can be frustrating not to at least explore what the other choice could have had in store. There are limitations to being human and finite, and one of those is the inability to look in the future and know what is the best possible decision will be. It is important to look at all possible outcomes when making a choice; however, because of our limitations an imperfect decision based on speculation usually arises. When he later writes "And looked down one as far as I could (4),"it further amplifies the notion of Frost wishing to be able to predict the outcomes. Frost seems to be disappointed that he does not have an opportunity to explore both options set before him.
When Frost is writing about making a decision he seems to contradict himself where he says:
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, (7-10).
It seems confusing that one path could have the better claim because it had less wear, while it later says that they had both been worn about the same. One possible explanation could...