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Compare and Contrast Poem and Short Story

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Compare and Contrast Poem and Short Story

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Introduction to Literature
A Similar Journey
February 2011

There are many people who travel a distance in life to find the path they should take or to remember the path they once took. In the poem “The Path Not Taken,” by Robert Frost and the short story "I Used to Live Here Once" by Jean Rhys there are many similarities and differences. The authors’ use of describing a path helps them personify life’s journeys and self-reflection. Robert Frost uses imagery to describe two different journeys in life that could have been taken. “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth.” As Frost writes in this first paragraph, he expresses the two journeys as a road diverged in a yellow wood. He is only one person so he could not travel both paths, but he did look and think ahead as far as he could in order to choose the path he wanted to take. After a certain point he could not tell the outcome of either path. Jean Rhys uses imagery as well to describe her journey and the difficult challenge it was to cross over. In the first paragraph “She was standing by the river looking at the stepping stones and remembering each one. There was the round unsteady stone, the pointed one, the flat one in the middle the safe stone where you could stand and look around. The next wasn't so safe for when the river was full the water flowed over it and even when it showed dry it was slippery. But after that it was easy and soon she was standing on the other side.” Rhys used this description of the stones to explain how hard it has been to cross the river but it really wasn’t the river, it reveals itself later on. Frost continues to use imagery and tone to express the next step on his journeys path. When he writes “Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear: Through as for that the...