the road not taken

Topics: Poetry, Stanza, The Road Pages: 4 (932 words) Published: May 6, 2014
Sandra Emmanuel
Dr. Jacobs, Rosalyn
English 1102-229
April 2nd 2014

An Explication of Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”

Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” stages the conflict of having to choose between two parts and the fear of the unknown. A part even though portrayed as physical in the poem, is more spiritual in real sense. The drama is shown by the speaker characterized as a man dwelling upon a decision that must be made. As a man, the speaker attempts to give an insight of his past and probably an explanation of the reason behind certain events that occurred in his life. This can be seen in the speaker’s archetypal dilemma, in the choice he is forced to make, a choice that could only be judged by future outcome. The theme of the poem is based on chances and choices a man is faced with in life. Frost uses a metaphor by comparing the road to lifeline, and the fork to the options available. The poem consists of four stanzas and five lines with four stressed syllables per line and on an iambic tetrameter base. It has a rhyme scheme of ABAAB/ CDCCD/EFEEF/GHGGH. Critics claim that the speaker’s choice between the roads was a matter of impulse, and not one of careful decision, because of the emphasis he put on the similarities between the roads (Pritchard, 1984). The speaker begins in the first stanza, by describing the indecisions a man faces when it comes to life’s choices. He is starring at two roads, of which he recognizes that he has to choose one for he definitely cannot travel both at the same time. The two roads represents the option (choices) humans come across in life which determines their future. A sense of hesitation is represented by the words “And be one traveler, long I stood” (Frost line 3). This can be perceived as the duration of the speaker’s pondering the act of taking the walk. The “yellow wood” in the first line symbolizes “autumn” which suggest that he is penning this in the later of his life, where he looks back at the tough...


Cited: Edgar V Roberts, Robert Zweig. Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writting. New York: longman, 2012. Print.
Hollis, Matthew. Edward Thomas,Robert Frost and The Road to War. 29 July 2011. web. 02 April 2014.
Pritchard, Willam H. A Literary Life Reconsidered. New York: Oxford University Press, 1984. Print.
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