Life and Death-a Journey of Choices

Topics: Eudora Welty, A Worn Path, Short story Pages: 7 (2668 words) Published: April 8, 2013
Life and Death-A Journey of Choices

ENG 125
Hannah Martin
February 7, 2013

Life and Death-A Journey of Choices
There is a great increase of capacity in knowing one have choices in life. The metaphor for both works “The Road Not Taken” and “A Worn Path” is that each one had to use the power of decision. The theme behind Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” and Eudora Welty’s short story “A Worn Path” is a journey of life changing choices that symbolizes hope, perseverance, and courage. A “theme is a representation behind a story”. To say it in a way I understand, a story within a story. “A symbol is something that has a literal identity but also stands for something else….” A metaphor is an image which imaginatively compares one thing with another, showing how each has qualities that resemble the other” (Clugson, R.W., 2010). Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” has a representation of symbolism, metaphors and imagery. Two of the symbolisms are roads and nature. In line 1 of “The Road Not Taken”, the splitting roads in the woods are metaphors. The roads symbolize choices and decisions taken in life. The roads description in lines 4 and 5 “And looked down one as far as I could/to where it bent in the undergrowth” (Frost, Robert, 1916) is a metaphor for the future. The persona can only see a certain distance down the roads in the woods. One can only visualize the consequences of one’s choices for a short while in the future. In line 3 “…long I stood” has an imagery of the narrator starring and pondering which road to take. The narrator knows he has to make a challenging decision and that with either road he chooses, there was going to be a life changing experience that would make his life better or make it worse. The persona studies the roads long enough to find a tiny difference to see which way is the best way and know one cannot continue until he chooses. In lines 13-15 “Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back” (Frost, Robert, 1916) the persona wants to be able to take both roads. This metaphor is a choice that changes everything; once the road is taken, one can never go back. The narrator was saying, “If only I can return and try the other path.” He concluded within himself that life doesn’t work that way. In lines 18-20 “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference” is repeating the first line which is the beginning of the extended metaphor. The last two lines sums up the metaphor. One of the roads in line 19 is being confirmed as a path less traveled. Nature in Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” set the theme. Two roads which are perhaps paths going through the woods in the autumn season. Line 1 “…yellow wood” gives the setting of the poem. This could symbolize one making a choice when he is beginning to grow in the fall of his life. A metaphorical significance is in line 5 “To where it bent in the undergrowth.” The woods thickness, because of the undergrowth, can make the road or paths disappear. The undergrowth shows representation of the persona’s future as being an unclear blurred vision of indecisiveness. By thinking one path could be better than the other, lines 7 and 8 “And having perhaps the better claim/Because it was grassy and wanted wear” can be a metaphor of the favor of nature because this path is less worn than the other. “The speaker, who is a very serious person, chooses a particular road. Even though stanza 2 suggest the choice could have gone either way---both roars were a lot alike---the speaker seems satisfied with the choice, and knows that leaving the other road for future travel is not possible. The choice is not just about a particular road but it is about a life path as well” (Clugson, R.W., 2010). The road is symbolized all the way through the theme and the whole poem. This metaphorically represents the way a person thinks. “The Road Not Taken”...
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