The Road Not Taken Paper

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Kelsey Sullivan
Judith Harrison
English 1020
August 27, 2008
People make decisions consciously, subconsciously, and constantly. After reading Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken, I began to ponder the value of the speaker’s words. The speaker demonstrates decision making by describing a person as a traveler, debating which road to take on his journey. In The Road Not Taken, the traveler comes across two roads; however, there are often more questionable paths in life. In essence, this poem uses different symbols to stress the fact that people have choices in life, that these choices, whether good or bad, have results, and that our choices ultimately affect our destiny. Each person makes decisions frequently during a lifetime, such as deciding what outfit to wear for the day or how to plan an evening with friends. Some choices are made in an instant, while others require much time and thought. In this poem, the traveler is having a dilemma over which road to take. Had he been given the option to travel both roads, he would have accepted. Similarly, a person can be faced with choices that are difficult to make but necessary in order to progress in life. Often choices that take longer to make will derive better decisions from people because he or she has time to weigh the consequences and see which option is best.

Often a person makes a choice that has regrettable consequences and looking back wishes that he had chosen a different option. The speaker subtly hints that the traveler suspects that he might take the wrong path and miss out on something. The cliché, “the grass is always greener on the other side,” is an example of this scenario. At one point or another, each person will experience a bad decision resulting in hard consequences. However, making a wise choice could result in promising consequences. The poet explains that an independent, knowledgeable, and strong-willed individual is capable of making wiser choices that one who...
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