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Robert Frost’s Poem ‘’the Road Not Taken’’

987 words - 4 pages

In the Robert Frost poem ‘’The Road Not Taken’’ there is a pervasive and in many ways intrinsic sense of journey throughout. In such, the poem explores an aspect associated with human decision, or indecision, relative to the oxymoron, that choices with the least the difference should bear the most indifference, but realistically, carry the most difficulty. This is conveyed through the use of several pivotal techniques. Where the first such instance is the use of an extended metaphor, where the poem as a whole becomes a literary embodiment of something more, the journey of life. The second technique used is the writing style of first person. Where in using this, the reader can depict a clear train of thought from the walker and understand why and how he made the choice he made, and the ramifications of such. Lastly, we can depict a clear repetition of indecision throughout the first three stanzas, indecision that ultimately proves to be fruitless and subsequently telling us more than the arrival at a clear decision ever could.

Firstly, we have the extended metaphor, which is ascertained by many to be relative to the ‘’journey’’ of one’s life and the choices we make. The idea and subsequent meaning from the metaphor extends the application of it from the difficulty of one singular choice, but can be construed as a lifetime and how choices committed throughout can never be taken back. While also delving into a sense of regret and a loss of a human characteristic ‘’the want to know’’ what would or could have happened if the other path or choice was taken. This is shown in the line ‘’sorry I could not travel both’’ which indicates the aforementioned regret whilst also explaining the immediate response of the traveller. The use of the extended metaphor contorts the poem into a poignant piece about our inability to know the eventuality of the path not taken, ‘’I shall be telling this with a sigh’’. Wherein this is the extent of the metaphor, where in this poem it is a changeable anomaly subject to the readers interpretation of taking the road less travelled and whether it be a positive (sigh of satisfaction) or negative (sigh of regret). This is all one can hope when using a metaphor relating to the readers life, that they substitute their own feelings and create their own meaning, their own attitude towards to such decisions and subsequently, such journeys.

Furthermore, we have the use of first person, where the almost universal effect is to have an in-depth look into the character and their immediate response to a problem or dilemma. This poem no different, where in the first stanza we are ushered in with the use of anaphora in lines 2, 3 and 4 with the repetition of the word ‘’and’’. This specific use of anaphora is used to create the mindset and intelligible deduction of the traveller to the events and dilemma prescribed...

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