The Road Not Taken Analysis

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The Road Not Taken Analysis

Author: Poetry of Robert Frost
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Mountain Interval1916Two 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;Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

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I think it is a beautiful poem it starts with a choice of two roads, the poet can choose either one. It also ends with a forked road in which the reader has an option. He says he will be telling us with a sigh that he took the road less travelled by and that has made all the difference. But he doesn't say if he will be telling us with a regretful or a relieved sigh. This is how the poem ends giving us a choice between the possibilities that it made all the difference in a good way or a bad

One initial comment that I have is that, although this might shed some meaning and is interesting, you don't necessarily have to know the background behind a poem...ie, what the poet was doing or thinking at the time. I feel that the poem should be able to stand on its own, partly because most readers really don't know the background, as the poet would be aware of, and the poet basically created the poem, and not the background. As far as the poem goes, if you map it out time-wise, this is what happens: The first (1) event to occur is that he comes to a juncture in a road, where it diverged into two roads. Next (2), he then looked at both roads and tried to decide which road to take. Next (3), he can't really discern any major differences in appearance between the roads. They are "as just as fair" "equally lay in leaves no step had trodden black." But one "perhaps" has less usage "because it was grassy and wanted wear." Next (4), the person makes the choice to take the road that appears to be less traveled ("I took the one less traveled by"). Next (5), he has the thought that although he would like to someday go down the other road ("I kept the first for another day"), he doubts that this will ever happen ("Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.") Finally (6), he has the thought that sometime in the future ("somewhere ages and ages hence") he will be telling "with a sigh" that 1) he came to a place where the road he was walking on diverged, 2)he took the road less traveled by and 3) "that this has made all the x a choice must be made. It can't be avoided, there is no way around it, unless he decides to return from where he came, which is not even considered. Second, the message here could be that there are times in one's life when a decision between two options must be made. And because of (6) ("made all the difference"), this may actually be a single critical moment. If you make decision A, then X...
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