Robert Frost - "The Road Not Taken"

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  • Topic: The Road, 2008 albums, Poetry
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  • Published : December 16, 2011
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English 102
Poetry Essay

We all will hit a point in our lives where we have to make some decisions, some more than others, and Robert Frost alludes to this in a relatable way in his poem “The Road Not Taken”. Frost uses some great images to describe the situation the narrator is in. He also lets you visualize the thoughts and actions that the narrator is making. There are so many ways you can tell what Frost is saying in this poem by taking a close look into his many uses of symbolism.

Frosts first use of symbolism in his poem is in the first two lines “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, / And sorry I could not travel both” (Frost, 555). The two roads are being referred as a time in the narrator’s life where he has to make an important decision, and he can only follow one path. Once he makes this decision in his life, it’s going to be the decision he lives with. You could say that this is his midlife crisis, and right now he’s deciding how he wants his life to be in the future. In in lines four and five he says “And looked down one as far as I could / To where it bent in the undergrowth” (Frost, 555). He doesn’t know where this decision will take him in life, he can only see so far into the future or so far into the road.

By the second stanza you think the narrator has one path in mind, but in a split second he decides to take the other path. There was no premeditation to this decision, he had actually thought long and hard about the first path but took the risk and went with the road not taken. After he makes this quick judgment to take this road he starts to regret it a little by saying “Oh, I kept the first for another day!” (Frost, 555) He regrets his decision and now wishes to have a chance to follow the other path someday. “So now that our speaker has walked away from one future and into another, he's pining for the one he passed up. He is planning to come back and take the other path another day” (Shmoop Editorial Team). He regrets his choice...
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