Reflection Paper On The Road Not Taken

Decent Essays

Response Paper “The Road Not Taken” “The Road Not Taken”, by Robert Frost, is probably the most recognized poem in American culture. Anyone who has graduated from middle school at least recognizes the words found in the poem’s final stanza about the road less traveled and the difference it has made (Frost 20), to which the poem’s perceived themes of individual empowerment, and “follow your heart” decision-making, is attributed. This considered, it’s no surprise that I was considerably shocked to discover, upon inspection of the entire poem, that “The Road Not Taken” is not at all what I thought, but is in fact self-contradictory, and thereby a criticism of the nature of human beings. The first thing that I noticed as I read through the poem was that it didn’t make sense because the conclusion that the narrator comes to, that he has taken the road less traveled, doesn’t match up with the experience that he describes having in the woods. The narrator arrives at a fork in the road and begins to look down one as far as he can, describing it in detail. He then states that the other path was “… as just as fair,” suggesting that it looks about the same (Frost 6). The narrator explains that he took the other path, considering that it sat, “… having perhaps [my emphasis added] the better claim, / Because it was grassy and wanted wear;” but quickly dismisses the thought in the following lines, “Though as for that the passing there / had worn them really about the same,” (Frost

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