The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost Essay

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The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

In Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken," (reprinted in Laurence Perrine and Thomas R. Arp, Sound and Senses, 8th ed. [San Diego: Harcourt, 1992] 23) the speaker stands in the woods, considering a fork in the road. Both ways are equally worn, and equally overlaid with un-trodden leaves. The speaker chooses one, telling himself that he will take the other another day. Yet he knows it is unlikely that he will have the opportunity to do so. And he admits that someday in the future he will recreate the scene with a slight twist: he will claim that he took the less-traveled road. The whole poem is an extended metaphor, where Frost describes a path in the woods that is directly comparable to a major
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Frost presents to the reader a man's decision, at a turning point in his life, symbolized by "two roads diverged in a yellow wood."
In the first line, Frost introduces the elements of his primary metaphor: the diverging roads. The speaker expresses his regret that "[he] could not travel both" (line 2). The choice is not easily made since "long I stood" (line 3) before coming to a decision. In an attempt to make a choice, the traveler examines the path "as far as [he] could" (line 4), but his vision is limited because the path bends and is covered "in the undergrowth" (line 5). Thus, indicating that although he would have liked to acquire more information, he is prevented from doing so because of the nature of his environment. In lines 6-8, the speaker is still unable to decide between the two paths since "the other, [is] just as fair" (line 6). He indicates that the second path is a more attractive choice since "it was grassy and wanted wear" (line 8). Nevertheless, by the end of the stanza, he remains ambivalent, even after comparing the two paths, for each was "really about the same" (line 10). Neither path has been traveled lately. In the third stanza, the speaker makes his decision, trying to persuade himself that he will eventually "come back" (line 15) to satisfy his desire and curiosity to travel both paths. However, deep down, he admits to himself that