The Road Not Taken is told by one person, and there is no designation as to gender, circumstance in life, or age. This person has come to a crossroads in their life and has two options to choose from. The location or place in the poem is a fork in a forest path, and time or era is not specified. However this can be even relevant today, so it would be considered a contemporary piece. The premise of the poem is that the narrator faces a decision and ultimately decides. Symbolism and imagery are used effectively to reinforce the theme throughout the poem. Imagery is a distinct representation of something that can be experienced and understood through the senses (sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste), or the representation of an idea, while symbolism represents an object, person, or action that conveys two meanings: its own literal meaning and something it stands for as well (Clugston, 2010).
When analyzing the poem and the images and ...view middle of the document...
This symbol represents to me that the individual who must make this life decision is attempting to peer into the future to see the outcome from a certain path. He cannot see past the immediate future, hence the reference to the bend in the undergrowth. The bend represents the unforeseeable future. The next instance of symbolism is "Yet knowing how way leads on to way, / I doubted if I should ever come back." This means to me that the writer knows that whichever path he chooses will be irreversible. His choice will make changes in his life that he will not be able to take back and he will never again be at that same starting point. The last use of symbolism in the poem is "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - / I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference." These lines say to me that the writer has led a satisfying life. That he did choose wisely and although it wasn't necessarily an easy life, it was fulfilling for him and he is proud of the choices he made.
Imagery was also used in the poem. I found that the yellow in the first line represented that the future the writer was facing was bright and warm regardless of his choice. The undergrowth was, as undergrowth in any forest, damp and dank smelling, but not necessarily unpleasant, just something that the writer would have to face. The image of traveling through a forest also brings to mind thoughts of birds in flight, chirping and singing. Squirrels dashing through trees, rustling leaves and dropping the occasional acorn or nut also create an image of sight and sound. The sun reflecting through the trees, casting shadows and creating pockets of warm and cool air and the occasional breeze stirring through the trees are also brought to mind by this poem. The end of the poem brings to me images of an older person, sitting in a rocking chair, perhaps by a fire, telling his story to his grandchildren. It is a warm, comfortable room with life's souvenirs on shelves and tables. A cat sits in his lap, purring contentedly while being petted, and the smells of pipe smoke hang in the air. It is an image of prosperity and contentedness earned through honest and good living.