Making Choices in Robert Frost’s Poetry
“In the poems “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” and “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, both poems have different paths which symbolize a choice that must be made. The two journeys symbolize the narrator’s decision that they have made. Some similarities between the two poems include: decision making, both are set in nature, the narrator’s choice, the paths, and both have something persuading the narrator to choose the choice that the make at the end. Whereas, some differences include: the narrator in “The Road Not Taken” does not have a companion, and it takes place in autumn, while in “Stopping by the Woods” the narrator has his horse, and it takes place in the winter. In “The Road Not Taken,” the narrator makes the decision to take the path “less travelled by” (846) while the narrator in “Stopping by the Woods” chooses to continue with the duty he needs to carry out.
In both poems, the narrator is on a path. These paths represent two different choices that the narrator must decide between. The two poems have many similarities. Both narrators must make a decision, both are set in nature, their dilemma is the main focus, and both have something persuading them to their choice. In “The Road Not Taken” this is shown when the narrator says “…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 [the paths] that morning equally lay in leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day!” (846). This shows how the narrator is called to a specific path (representing his choice) whereas in “Stopping by the Woods” the narrator’s horse “gives his harness bells a shake to ask if there is some mistake” (548) which persuades him to continue with his duty.
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In conclusion, while there are many similarities between the two poems, there are also a few differences. In “The Road Not Taken” the narrator lacks a companion while the narrator in “Stopping by the Woods” has his horse. “The Road Not Taken” takes place in autumn as he talks about the leaves on the ground while “Stopping by the Woods” takes place in the winter. While the narrator in “The Road Not Traveled” takes the path “less travelled by” (846) the narrator in “Stopping by the Woods” continues his journey because he has “promises to keep” (548). In “Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening” and “The Road Not Taken” the paths represent two choices that must be made by the narrator in each poem. While there are many similarities, like utilizing the paths to symbolize the narrator’s dilemma, there are also a few differences in the setting and their decision in the end.”