The Road Not Taken
English, Essay 1
13 April 2014
The Road Not Taken In discussions of the poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, many people would misinterpret this poem to be posted on a Hallmark card, which would lean towards the joyful side. Conventional wisdom has it that the tone of the poem could be the explanation why this poem misguides most readers. Yet, there is a lot of irony and symbolism through out the reading that people could argue differently. Although none of them have ever said so directly, one has given the impression that the poem is infused with the anticipation of remorse. The two paths in the woods and forks in roads are deep metaphors for the lifeline, its crises and decisions.
Frost’s poem is undoubtedly among the best-known and misconstrued poems of this era. One of the fascinations of the poem is its quandary, one that we instantly recognize because each of us has encountered it plenty of times, literally and figuratively. In particular, the forks in the road symbolize for us the relationship between free will and fate. Ultimately, we are free to choose, but we do not really know previously what we are choosing between. The route we take is determined by chance and choice, which is almost impossible to separate the two. Frost’s poem does not instruct one to study the footprints and the take the road less-traveled by. Actually, it is more complicated than that, reason being, there is no less-traveled road in the poem. It seems more troubled with the question of how the present (yellow woods, grassy roads covered in leaves) will look from a future vantage point.
Frost has conformed a perfect poem by using certain form, content, the use of simple words, and metaphors. The ironic tone is unavoidable. For example, Frost states:
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence (16 - 17)
Frost claims that his own future insincerity, his need, and later on in life. He knows that
Cited: Frost, Robert. “The Road Not Taken.” Literature: Reading, Reacting, Writing. Ed. Laurie G. Kirszner and Stephen R. Mandell. 8th ed. Boston: Wadsworth, 2013. 885. Print.