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Analysis Of The Road Not Taken, By Robert Frost

1331 words - 6 pages

One of Robert Frost’s most celebrated poems “The Road Not Taken”, makes anyone who reads the poem wondering what if. The symbolism of the fork in the road has been the topic of many interpretations, however, many claim that this poem symbolizes the never-ending curiosity that exist within human nature, making choices in life not knowing the how it will affect one’s life. Through the course of time, one may come to consider the selection of the road they've chosen, contemplate on the potential opportunities gained or lost through such choices, and wonder about "The Road Not Taken.”
Numerous speculations have been made about the poem, but according to Arti Agarwa Frost cites himself that the inspiration behind the poem came from his old friend Edward Thomas, a Welsh poet. It has been stated by Frost that Thomas was never satisfied with the choices he made, and when the two would walk the countryside in England, Thomas would always regret the path he had chosen for them. “The Road Not Taken” is a playful mocking of not only Thomas’ relentless regrets, but also the regrets found in human nature.
During the poem, the speaker recalls approaching “two roads diverged in a yellow wood”. The symbolism behind the two roads is fairly simple to comprehend, it is an early autumn morning and the roads symbolize the choices that one comes to during their journey of life. Mindful that only one path can be traveled, the speaker is wary with his decision “long I stood | And looked down one as far as I could | To where it bent in the undergrowth” (lines 3-5). This is where most people’s opinions are formed. For example, an online article written by William Pritchard, states that the speaker’s decision upon choosing a road was due to an instinct, and was not decided upon by careful thinking due to the importance he put on the similarities between the two roads.
It can be noted that three times within the entire poem, the speaker remarks on how the roads are nearly the same. The speaker does so first by describing the roads “as just as fair” (line 6), secondly with “Though as for that the passing there | had worn them really about the same” (lines 9-10), and completing the comparison with lines eleven and twelve, saying “both that morning equally lay| In leaves no step had trodden black.” Several people claim that the speaker goes against everything he stated before here, and tries to mislead the reader by claiming his decision was made because the path looked “grassy and wanted wear” (line 8). As Linda Sue Grimes states in her article “The speaker does exactly that by stating that took the road "less traveled by" when he knows that they were nearly identical. Taking a less traveled road, of course, makes one sound adventurous and individualistic, even if that is not exactly the case with this speaker,” (11).
When comparing the symbolism with the theme, it is clearly shown that instead of your ordinary roads passing through the woods; that the roads instead lead...

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