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Frost Poem Analysis

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“The Road Not Taken”
by Robert Frost

Two 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.

One of Frost’s most common subjects is the choice the poet is faced with two roads, two ideas, and two possibilities of action. “The Road Not Taken” deals with the choice between two “roads,” and the results of the choice that the poet makes. It raises the evident question of whether it is better to choose a road in which many travel, or to choose the road less traveled and explore it yourself. In “The Road Not Taken,” the speakers’ tone and setting help illustrate the struggle a person goes through in their lives to pick the right road to travel.
It is possible to read this poem as a statement of some self-pity on the poet’s part, a feeling, perhaps, that he has been cheated and misunderstood because he took an unpopular path. To support this tone, one might point to the last stanza: The speaker will some day, sighing, tell others that he took the unknown road when faced with a choice. The reading, however, misses much of the significance of the second and third stanzas. At the end of the second stanza, the speaker states that there was really not much difference in the two roads; neither had really been w...

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