The Importance of Each Decision in Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken

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The Importance of Each Decision in The Road Not Taken

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- / I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference." Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" is a lyrical poem about the decisions that one must make in life. When a man approaches a fork in the road on which he is traveling, he must choose which path to take. The choice that he makes, as with any choices made in life, affects him in a way that "has made all the difference . Thematically, the poem argues that no matter how small a decision is, that decision will affect a person's life forever.

"The Road Not Taken" is told as a first-person narrative. The narrator is looking back on the decisions that have affected him.
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The man had to decide which path to take, one that was very worn, or "one less traveled by." He decided to take the less traveled path and keep "the first for another day." Looking back on this situation, the narrator feels his decision has changed his life forever.

On the other hand, Frost could be using the images presented in the poem in a very involved and general way. The paths and the fork may no longer refer to their definitions, but instead as keywords in a description of life. Through the poem, Frost is defining life as a series of decisions. Some of these decisions may, at the time, be thought of as insignificant, while others could be thought of as very significant. Frost argues that a decisions' significance at the time is not really important, for any choice will change one's life. Every day, people, including the narrator of the poem, are presented with "Two roads" that diverge "in a yellow wood." These roads are not concrete or physical, but rather represent choices. The fact that one road is "grassy and wanted wear" while the other was commonly traversed shows the reader that some choices require one to choose something that is not commonly sought or to do something that is not commonly done. The total of these decisions leads people, like the reader, down a new path: a path which the narrator himself created. The narrator comes to the realization that every