The Road Not Taken

Paper Title:
The Road Not Taken
Everyone is a traveler, choosing the roads to follow on the map of their
continuous life. A straight path never leaves speaker with one sole direction on
which to travel. Robert Frosts poem “The Road Not Taken” is about
how the choices affect speakers life. Frost illustrates speaker to make a
difficult decision about choosing one of two equally promising roads to travel
on. When speaker comes to a fork road, a decision needs to be made. Both paths
are different and choosing the right one will depend on his past experience. It
is this way that he chooses to decide where he is going to travel. Throughout
this poem, it is obvious that decisions are not easy to make, and each decision
will lead him down a different road to travel. In any case however, this poem
clearly demonstrates Frosts belief that it is the road that speaker chooses
that makes him who he is.

The speaker had two roads to choose from and wonders what would have happened
if he had taken the other road. The poem begins with simple sentence, “Two
roads diverged in a yellow wood,” as the speaker sees two roads before him
and obviously he cannot travel on both at the same time. He tries to consider
the consequences as he “looked down one as far as I could.” However,
each road “bent in the undergrowth” as where each road obviously
different. It is unclear to him what the consequences would be if he chooses
either road. Frost states “And sorry I could not travel both,” that
shows the point in which speaker will choose only one path in which to travel
on. It is always difficult to make a decision, because it is impossible not to
wonder what will be missed out. There is a strong sense of wonder before the
choice is made because he knows that in one lifetime he cannot travel down on
every road. In an attempt to make a decision, the speaker “looked down one
as far as I could”. The road he chooses leads to the unknown choice in
life. In the first stanza, the emphasis is on the road that was not traveled,
but he cannot and be one traveler on both paths. The speaker has a
difficult choice to make and is carefully considering his options, but he must
choose one of the roads to travel.

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The second stanza shows the difficulty of making choices. The speaker tries
to differentiate one road from another as he describes one road as “having
perhaps the better claim”. Here he tries to make an excuse for choosing
this road over the other because it was grassy and wanted wear. However,
in line 10 he confesses that both roads are, in fact, not different at all as
for that passing there had worn them really about the same. He takes the
other road that is grassy and wanted wear; indeed, the road he chooses has
a better claim because it is the road that is less traveled on. By taking
this road, a clue to Frosts personality is exposed. He is the type of person
that wants to try something new and different. He makes the choice based on who
he is and what choices he has made in the past. This choice might again change
his life and bring him new experiences.

In the third stanza the speaker realizes he has to make a decision soon,
because he just cannot stand there forever. However, he still cannot decide
which one of the roads to travel on. The leaves that cover the ground have not
been stepped on and no step had trodden black, indicates that no one has
traveled down the road since the leaves haven fallen. Oh, I kept the first
for another day! the speaker anticipates he has more time to decide. His
reason for this indecision is that knowing how way lead on to way, I doubted
if I should ever come back. He knows that once he makes a decision there’s no
turning back. This is where the reader makes his choice. Here, he knows he is
bound by that choice. He wants to hold on to the other possibility, but knows
this cannot be possible. His choice becomes the road taken; therefore, the
choice he did not make becomes The Road Not Taken.

It appears that the last stanza is written long after he makes his decision.

He looks back and regrets his decision, I shall be telling this with a sigh
somewhere ages and ages hence. He again makes an excuse why he chose this
particular road as he took the one less traveled by even though; in line
he admits that both roads are really the same. The speaker seems to be content
with his choice, yet he tells it with a sigh. He is resolving himself to the
fact that even when “ages and ages” pass, he will still wonder what if
he had taken the other road. He will regret being unable to go back and travel
down the road he did not take. It was the path that he chose that has made
all the difference that makes him who he become and to live his life the way
he lives; however, with only one regret that he could not travel both paths in
his life.

The title of this poem The Road Not Taken refers to the choice speaker
did not make. All people make mistakes, but we must move on and learn from them
so we will not make the same mistakes again. This poem is about choices because
of our inability to travel on both paths at once in one lifetime. The speaker
made his difficult decision to travel on this road and change his life. Each
choice that we make plays out differently in our lives. We can look back and
wonder what would have happened if we choose differently. Each choice affects
who we are, and one choice in life can change everything.



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