What "The Road Not Taken" Means To Me

1700 words - 7 pages

Perhaps one of the most well-known poems in modern America is a work by Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken. This poem consists of four stanzas that depict the story of the narrator traveling through the woods early in the morning and coming upon a fork in the path, where he milled about for a while before deciding upon one of the two paths, wishing he could take both, but knowing otherwise, seeing himself telling of this experience in the future.
Frost uses several literary devices in this brief account, such as imagery, personification, metaphor, and alliteration. Descriptions of “yellow wood,” depicting an autumn forest, and “no step [in the leaves being] trodden black,” indicating a fresh and natural recently untrodden environment, are included to create a picture in the reader’s mind and make the situation ore real and easily related to. It is possible that Frost may have purposely used the word “yellow” to imply the splitting paths. ("Cummings Study Guides") When describing the two paths, the narrator mentions that one “was grassy and wanted wear,” using personification to make it seem as if that path is calling to him to travel upon it. In the same phrase, Frost also makes use of alliteration to draw attention to the calling of the first path. ("Use of Literary Devices in Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken")
The overarching theme throughout the entire poem is that of choices. The concept of “two roads diverged,” or a split in the road, is a metaphor representing a choice which the narrator must make. Being “sorry [he] could not travel both… [being] one traveler” illustrates that, although he wishes he could see the results of both choices, as seen in saying he “looked as far as [he] could to where it bent,” he is but one person and cannot go both ways, or choose both options. The second and third stanzas describe in detail how the paths were essentially equal in appearance in saying that they “equally lay in leaves no step had trodden black” being “just as fair” and “worn… really about the same.” Having made his choice, the narrator mentions how he “kept the first [path] for another day,” saying that he wished he could go back and travel that other path, or make that other choice, sometime in the future, but he realizes that that is not an option, as denoted by stating, “yet knowing how one way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.” In life, once choices are made, they cannot be “unmade;” the act of choosing leads to further choices, creating an ongoing and irreversible chain, which is life. The final stanza can represent the end result of the narrator’s choice. When he say that he “shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere in ages hence,” it can mean a multitude of things: The sigh could represent nostalgia, regret, satisfaction, sadness, or any combination these when he retells the story of his choice in the woods on that Autumn morning. (Abson)
There are also many other themes that can be interpreted from this...

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