Decisions in Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken Essay

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Decisions in Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken Throughout our lives we are faced with a number of important decisions, decisions that determine an unseen future. The choices, though often virtually identical, lead to different destinies and often leave us asking "what if?" There are not always signs telling us the way to go or the choice to make; we must find out what lies ahead for ourselves. In his "The Road Not Taken," Robert Frost relates to the reader such a choice, symbolic, perhaps of any major decision in life. The traveler in Frost's poem must blindly decide between two similar paths, and this decision greatly affects his life thereafter. In the opening stanza, Frost takes the reader into a "yellow wood," setting the…show more content…
The traveler, unable to see what lies ahead, turns his attention to what he can see, only to find it just as mysterious. To begin the second stanza, the traveler turns back to what lies immediately before him, trying to evaluate the second road. In reading this stanza it is important to remember the poem is being narrated after-the-fact. The narrator is giving feelings he had at the time along with the knowledge he has now. Because neither path has an obvious advantage, the traveler makes himself believe the second road "was grassy and wanted wear" even though "the passing there had worn them about the same." As we often do, the traveler conjures up a reason to do something, even though there is no logical explanation for doing it. The path appears as if it "wanted wear," drawing the narrator in. The narrator realizes now his past compulsion and sees that neither path had any "better claim." Even though the narrator has decided on the second path, he "kept the first for another day." The traveler wants to take the first road some day to find out how his life could have been. Even with this compelling sense of wonder, the narrator knows "how way leads on to way" and that he hasn't enough time to change every past decision in order to lead a different life. In this third stanza, the traveler finally goes on his way, but, like most would, he takes along a nagging wonder.
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