Literary Analysis - the Road Not Taken

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 "The Road Not Taken”

Robert Frost's poem “The Road Not Taken” describes a traveler faced with a choice of which one of two roads to travel. He knows not where either road might lead. In order to continue on his journey, he can pick only one road. He scrutinizes both roads for the possibilities of where they may take him in his travels. Frost's traveler realizes that regret is inevitable. Regardless of his choice, he knows that he will miss the experiences he might have encountered on the road not taken.

Images in the poem reflect the difficulties of the choice the traveler faces. The difficulty is shown in the passage "long I stood" (3) as he ponders his options. "a yellow wood," (1) expresses the idea of a bright world full of opportunities. One path is "bent in the undergrowth;" (5) which gives a hint of darkness. The other path is "grassy and wanted wear;" (8), indicating fresh opportunity. Neither road indicates much wear, as stated by "no steps had trodden black," (12). Finally, the image of the traveler as an old man telling his story is reflected by the passage "Somewhere ages and ages hence;" (17). The traveler's need to make a choice and his regret at losing out on the road he does not choose are evident in the images Frost paints.

The tone created by the poet and his word choice, give the impression of regret and rueful resignation at the necessity of his choice. The title of the poem shows the importance not of the path taken, but of the path not taken. The traveler expresses sorrow that he "could not travel both" (2) and he stands a long time in his indecision. He understands that there is really no way for him to know which path is better. He acknowledges that they are both worn "about the same," (10). He tries to be optimistic by keeping "the first for another day!" (13). He plans to come back to this fork and take the...
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