The Significance of The Road Not Taken
My father introduced me to "The Road Not Taken" when I was a young teenager because he figured that I was beginning a period of my life where I would be forced to make many important decisions, and he saw this poem as a source of guidance through those decisions. This poem carries truth and edification in its words. It forms a beautiful analogy of life and all its complications. After my father finished reciting the poem, I never gave a second thought that day to Robert Frost or his poetry. It was weeks, possibly months, before I resumed thought on "The Road Not Taken." It was not until one year ago that I actually read it. Nevertheless, I did remember that poem, and no matter how many times I put it aside to contemplate other things, it was always waiting for my return. Through all of my high school years, it tagged along beside me, reminding me that change is good, reminding me that risk is what life is all about.
The first stanza of this poem introduces the concept of change and maturing. In the first line, the narrator is walking through a "yellow wood," indicating that it is most likely autumn. A nice descriptive detail, but is that all it is? Autumn is the season of change between summer and winter. That is the common definition, yet it can also mean a time of maturity or decline, and standing at a fork in the road of life, the author was prone to either of these. The process of maturing, however, is what is going to be enveloped in this poem. He is being forced to examine each road and make a mature decision about which one to take.
He starts his decision-making process by looking down one road as far as he could. However, he could only see as far as "where it bent in the undergrowth" (5). This didn't accomplish much, so he was left with trying to find another method of deciding on what particular one to take. This was achieved by looking at each path and deciding on the one that "was grassy and wanted wear" (8). In other words, the narrator didn't want to follow in anybody else's footsteps. He wanted to be independent, to be free from the influence or control of others. The author...