Heather L. Dirgo
Instructor Lisa Clark
The Road Not Taken: A Critical Analysis
The Road Not Taken is a narrative poem consisting of four stanzas of iambic tetrameter written by Robert Frost in 1916 (Clugston, 2010). This essay will identify, using the reader-response approach, how the author utilizes various literary devices to evoke emotional response from the reader (123HelpMe.com, 2012). In the poem The Road Not Taken, Robert Frost metaphorically illustrates the much overlooked outcome of every decision; the unknown. In any choice made, there is always the mystique of possibilities of the other choice or taking the road not traveled. Frost accomplishes this by use of various literary devices; antithesis, metaphoric language, alliteration, personification, symbolism, rhyme, ambiguity, figurative language, and tone. One of the literary devices employed is antithesis (Encarta Corporation, 2011). The first stanza of the poem pronounces an itinerant at a junction in a path through a yellow wood and wishes he could travel both paths, but at the identical time he comprehends that the thought of roving both ways is unrealistic and consequently discards it. In the second stanza, the character pronounces the other road has perhaps the better claim due to that it was grassy and wanted wear, implying that this road is less traveled by. The traveler faces his own supposition by saying that "Though as for that the passing there had worn them really about the same" (Clugston, 2010). In the third stanza, the warning of burden encompasses the more toured path for an alternative day is addressed, but then noticed the traveler is most likely not going to return, and therefore, probably will never have the chance to travel the more traveled route in the future (The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2003). The line "Because it was grassy and wanted wear,” in the third stanza is an example of...