Symbolism, Imagery, and Theme of The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost
How can an author effectively convey a universal message to the broadest audience possible? Simple. The author must simply create a completely impartial narrator, devoid of sex, status, or age. The Road Not Taken is a poem told by an impartial narrator who has come to a crossroads in his/her life. The crossroads is represented by a forked path that leads through a forest. The setting is also impartial; the forest is anytime and anywhere the reader desires it to be. The narrator is forced to make a life-decision, thus changing the course of his/her life forever. Symbolism and imagery are used effectively to reinforce the main theme of the poem.
One instance of symbolism in the first stanza is "And looked down one as far as I could / To where it bent in the undergrowth;". This symbol shows to me that the person who needs to make this life decision is trying to peer into the future to see what the outcome would be if he takes 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 chose 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...