Road Not Taken

Decent Essays
Poetry Essay

ENGL 102: Literature and Composition


Thesis Statement: Every adult faces the challenge of a life-altering decision. In “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost there are many metrical devices used to portray the poet’s major theme of decision making.
Outline for “The Road Not Taken”
I. Introduction A. Influence of decision making B. Problem faced by the character
II. Body A. Theme of decision making B. Setting (1) Why is this symbolic? C. Title (1) What is the significance? D. Metrical devices used (1) Onomatopoeia (2) Imagery (3) Symbolism (4) Personification (5) Rhyming (6) Alliteration (7) Allegory
III. Conclusion A. How do all of the elements support the
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The poem is named after the path that was ultimately not chosen, leaving the reader to believe to think it was written with regret. In stanza 4 the regret is brought to light with a metrical device. “Sigh” is an onomatopoeia that emphasizes the characters regret or relief. That one word makes the reader want to go back and reread the poem to make sure the theme is understood. The traveler is either regretting his decision that he made or he is relieved that he made the best choice for himself. It is left up to the reader’s interpretation to discover what the poet was trying to say. Some other metrical devices used are imagery, symbolism, personification, rhyming, alliteration, and allegory. The reader is presented with imagery in “two roads diverged in a yellow wood” and again in “And both that morning equally lay in leaves no step had trodden black”. This gives the reader something to visualize. Personification is used in “because it was grassy and wanted wear.” A road cannot produce a feeling to want wear. The rhyme scheme of ABAAB in this poem produces interest and makes for an entertaining read. Alliteration is used when the poet writes “wanted wear”. Allegory presents itself when the poet writes about the two paths when his ulterior message is about choices.
All of the devices used in the poem support the poets overall theme. Out of all of the “roads” faced in life the roads not chosen to take have just as much impact as the roads that are chosen.
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