Analysis of “The Road not Taken”
“The Road Not Taken” shows the difficulty one might face making what appears to be a life altering decision, allowing him to pave his own way into the real world. It is only in his elder years he realizes that the decision he made was of such significance.
Frost’s use of iambic tetrameter is four stanzas with five lines maintaining the ABAAB rhyme scheme. This only stresses four syllables instead of the five.
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The speaker is a conflicted man taking a walk through the woods when he comes to a fork in the road. A metaphor for choice, hesitant on which path to choose, the man explores his options trying to base his decision on which path looks the most pleasing. “because it was grassy and wanted wear;/ Though as for that the passing there/ Had worn them really about the same,” (Frost504) this is where he realizes different people benefit under different circumstances and whatever path he may decide to take needs to be the most purposeful to his journey.
“Oh, I kept the first for another day!/ Yet knowing how way leads on to way./ I doubted if I should ever come back.” (Frost505) A metaphor the shows the uncertainty behind the path he has chosen to take but he’s made his choice and can’t take it back. As do many adults often wonder about the what if’s and fantasize about what could have been’s but are left to face the reality of what it truly is. This subliminally teaches a person to have confidence in the choices made because if you don’t “you’ll sigh and had wished you had taken another.” (Spacey) Sometimes there’s no way of determining which is the better route. “And that makes all the difference.” (Frost505) a metaphor expressing the choices you make will define you.
“I shall be telling this with a sigh/ Somewhere ages and ages hence/Two roads diverged, in a wood, and I-/took the one less traveled by.” When he is older, he’ll exaggerate about the significant difference between the paths to make the story worthwhile.