College Essay Outline of "The Road Not Taken"

Topics: Risk, Decision making, Decision theory Pages: 3 (1169 words) Published: April 30, 2013
Life is full of decisions waiting to be made. Whether that decision is choosing what to eat for breakfast or deciding what career to pursue, it will affect our life in one way or another. Robert Frost’s poem "The Road Not Taken" tells a story of a traveler who reaches a fork in the road and must choose which path to take, each path different from the other. By comparing the two roads, the traveler finally makes up his mind after being indecisive, taking risks, and being cautious about choosing a path he will regret. Not sure which path to choose, and afraid of making the wrong choice, he compares the two roads, much like we do when contemplating a choice, analyzing the pros and cons. In this poem, Frost contends that every decision we make, no matter how insignificant it may seem, will have an impact on our life. Frost uses a walk in the woods as a metaphor for making a decision in life, a situation that people face daily. Each road starts from the same place, but may lead to two entirely different destinations and the traveler has no idea where those destinations may be. Frost shows us the importance of making a decision and how it could affect us later on in life through the footsteps of the traveler.

II. Topic Sentence #1 – Making life-changing decisions can be very daunting, especially when we don’t know what will be the outcome of our decisions. A. This quote from the poem coming from lines 4-5 “And looked down one [path] as far as I could/ To where it bent in the undergrowth” shows the traveler being cautious and thinking about the repercussions. B. The traveler is trying to decipher where this particular path would lead him by looking ahead to the future. C. Therefore, the traveler is stuck deciding on which path to take based on which path entices him more. D. The road described in the last line of the first stanza is “bent in the undergrowth,” meaning the traveler can’t make out where the path would lead him in life because it curves away from his...
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