Analysis of “The Road not Taken” by Robert Frost

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The road in life often not taken is the one that brings difficulty to you. The poem, The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost states that “in life there are many decisions we will face, and there are points where we must let fate take the lead and often can not determine the outcome” (Haque 3). The Road Not Taken uses two paths as a symbol of a life decision. To have a full understanding of this poem one must determine their understanding of the meaning of life.

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“The author, Robert Frost, helps us better understand the message by his use of tone and literary devices in such ways as using metaphors and symbolism” (Haque 2). In this poem many come to realize that life is a combination of decisions and fate. The two paths symbolize the life of the traveler and all his life decisions. This poem expresses the author’s view of life, because in life there are important decisions being made that in some instances can make a large impact on the life in question, sometimes it’s hard to find one’s way out of difficult circumstances, but if looked into with depth there are many possible ways for one to overcome these obstacles and end on the high side of life.

To quote Moosavinia in the literary article Potential Ambiguity “Then took the other, as just as fair, and having perhaps the better claim”(Moosavinia 33) these are verses where the reader can clearly see that this is a decision in to which he had put a lot of thought and time towards. “Throughout the poem we as the reader comes to learn that there are two paths an individual can take, but in the poem, the traveler, who we assume is Robert Frost, is uncertain of which path to take” (Haque 2). We learn that this is Frost using symbolism to show the significance this decision holds as it is a life decision for him and not just a choice between two paths. Near the end of the poem there is a drastic change in tone from more of an indecisive tone to a tone that shows more regret.

In the poem I Shall Be Telling This with a Sigh there is a line that states just as the literary analysis is written “I shall be telling this with a sigh,”(Bollinger 13) Robert Frost shows a sign of regret, showing that he believes he may have made the wrong decision. All decisions that have to be made may not always require to be over thought but possibly just decided by one’s best interest. Throughout our lives we often make decisions we later find to have been the lesser of the two options. Though at the time of making the decision we may have foreseen that it was in fact the better of the two, in later situations it may become prominent that it was in fact the wrong decision.

In the scenario Frost places the reader in one has to be more mindful about the decision being made. “The road one chooses is full of challenges but often those challenges need to be explored to further our expectations of life”( Haque 5). In the beginning one would think they would choose a better path than the path previously chosen, but after the triumphs or failures the chosen path may not always be the correct one. “What one decides today is going to affect the future in many ways as stated in Onto the Road Not Taken” (Fleissner 312). Sometimes the decisions we make can be wrong but making the wrong decision often leads to greater knowledge and more options.

In the article The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost, the author states that “the roads are considered to be a symbol of his life decisions” (frost 3). The fact the Frost chose to use symbolism to portray the message makes the reader have a more clear and sound idea of what frost is going through with his decisions. Towards the end of the poem, Frost begins to show signs of regret, this is shown by illustrating how in life one decision can greatly impact your life and who you become as a person. By the end of the poem, the reader has learned that though making the choices one must in life or “choosing what path you should take to lead you in the proper direction” as stated in References to Robert Frost’s Poetry in Congressional Debates is often difficult one must make a decision and let fate take the lead. “Often the paths shown as an option to you one should not base it off of what others are taking but which path is the best option for you” (Haque 3).

Life is full of choices, some easier than others but always presented in the same idea “what path is the right path for you” quoted in Closing the Hallmark Card (Huston 4). The choices people make in their lifetime not only helps shape their life, but can make a life altering impact on their life. Every once in a while a person is offered a monumental decision that will decide the path of their entire life. Knowing a choice needs to be made does not make it an easy decision and can often lead to the wrong decision being made. In the line presented in The Road Not Taken Frost states, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both” (Frost 602), Robert Frost does not know which road to take, what decision to make.

He only knows that he cannot travel both. However, indecision is part of the beauty of life. Some of the best choices are result of careful thought, though others can be made from a carefree decision. A person does not always have to take the road of the ones before them; they can take an entirely new path with an unknown future or to quote Frost “the road less traveled”. We have to be observant and mindful to choose the correct path among the various paths life will give you.

Robert Frost states that “ I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference” (Frost 5). We should be able to choose the correct path or the path most desireable and move forward. Once we choose to travel in one way, we cannot change the course until the next path or decision is presented to us. Therefore, we should be careful and observant while taking decisions and choose the path which we will not regret.

Life is full of choices, some predetermined, some decided at the point the option is presented to us. The road is really a metaphor explaining decisions that we make and the options we have. Sometimes there are monumental choices that will affect the rest of someone’s life, whether they know it or not. The poem, The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost is about one of the special moments where one choice will change the course of a person’s life. We believe that depending on the road a person chooses, their life will turn out for better or for worse. In this poem we learn that sometimes we have to let fate take the lead and after a decision is made there is not always a way to change it or fix what one may believe is wrong or a mistake. Life is a combination of decisions and of fate. According to the author, the two paths symbolize the life of the traveler and all his life decisions.

At the end of the poem Frost states “I took the one less traveled by, and it has made all the difference” (Frost 3). This poem often leads the reader to believe that this is a highly significant part of the poem simply because it shows that when the reader makes a decision it should be based off of their knowledge and what they believe is right. Though people often want to take the road that everyone else is taking I believe that in this poem Frost wants the reader to understand that the road others are taking may not be the right path for everyone. Stating that this may not be the correct path for everyone opens up the idea that one must look into what the road is going to do to benefit them and what the best option for them truly is even if it means taking a different road than the others. I believe that Frost is trying to show that no matter what you have to always make the best decision for you no matter the outcome of others, you have to look out for your best interest because you are the only one that is doing so.

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Analysis of "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost. (2019, Apr 02). Retrieved from