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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 marked 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. ABOUT THIS POEM: meaning: The literal meaning of this poem by Robert Frost is pretty obvious. A traveler comes to a fork in the road and needs to decide which way to go to continue his journey. After much mental debate, the traveler picks the road "less traveled by." The figurative meaning is not too hidden either. The poem describes the tough choices people stand for when traveling the road of life. The words "sorry" and "sigh" make the tone of poem somewhat gloomy. The traveler regrets leaves the possibilities of the road not chosen behind. He realizes he probably won't pass this way again. devices: There are plenty literary devices in this poem to be discovered. One of these is antithesis. When the traveler comes to the fork in the road, he wishes he could travel both. Within the current theories of our physical world, this is a non possibility (unless he has a split personality). The traveler realizes this and immediately rejects the idea. Yet another little contradiction are two remarks in the second stanza about the road less traveled. First it's described as grassy and wanting wear, after which he turns to say the roads are actually worn about the same (perhaps the road less traveled makes travelers turn back?).

personification: All sensible people know that roads don't think, and therefore don't want. They can't. But the description of the road wanting wear is an example of personification in this poem. A road actually wanting some as a person would. However: some believe this to be incorrect and believe "wanting wear" is not a personification, but rather older English meaning "lacking". So it would be "Because it was grassy and lacked wear;". "The Road Not Taken" (1916) The narrator comes upon a fork in the road while walking through a yellow wood. He considers both paths and concludes that each one is equally well-traveled and appealing. After choosing one of the roads, the narrator tells himself that he will come back to this fork one day in order to try the other road. However, he realizes that it is unlikely that he will ever have the opportunity to come back to this specific point in time because his choice of path will simply lead to other forks in the road (and other decisions). The narrator ends on a nostalgic note, wondering how different things would have been had he chosen the other path. Analysis This poem is made up of four stanzas of five lines, each with a rhyme scheme of ABAAB. Along with Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, this poem is one of Frosts most beloved works and is frequently studied in high school literature classes. Since its publication, many readers have analyzed the poem as a nostalgic commentary on life choices. The narrator decided to seize the day and express himself as an individual by choosing the road that was less traveled by. As a result of this decision, the narrator claims, his life was fundamentally different that it would have been had he chosen the more well-traveled path. This reading of the poem is extremely popular because every reader can empathize with the narrators decision: having to choose between two paths without having any knowledge of where each road will lead. Moreover, the narrators decision to choose the less traveled path demonstrates his courage. Rather than taking the safe path that others have traveled, the narrator prefers to make his own way in the world. However, when we look closer at the text of the poem, it becomes clear that such an idealistic analysis is largely inaccurate. The narrator only distinguishes the paths from one another after he has already selected one and traveled many years through life. When he first comes upon the fork in the road, the paths are described as being fundamentally identical. In terms of beauty, both paths are equally fair, and the overall passing there / Had worn them really about the same. It is only as an old man that the narrator looks back on his life and decides to place such importance on this particular decision in his life. During the first three stanzas, the narrator shows no sense of remorse for his decision nor any acknowledgement that such a decision might be important to his life. Yet, as an old man, the narrator attempts to give a sense of order to his past and perhaps explain why certain things happened to him. Of course, the excuse that he took the road less traveled by is false, but the narrator still clings to this decision as a defining moment of his life, not only because of the path that he chose but because he had to make a choice in the first place.

A Tricky Poem
Frost claims that he wrote this poem about his friend Edward Thomas, with whom he had walked many times in the woods near London. Frost has said that while walking they would come to different paths and after choosing one, Thomas would always fret wondering what they might have missed by not taking the other path. About the poem, Frost asserted, "You have to be careful of that one; it's a tricky poem - very tricky." And he is, of course, correct. The poem has been and continues to be used as an inspirational poem, one that to the undiscerning eye seems to be encouraging self-reliance, not following where others have led. But a close reading of the poem proves otherwise. It does not moralize about choice; it simply says that choice is inevitable, but you never know what your choice will mean until you have lived it.

still in the future. It is a truism that any choice an individual makes is going to make all the difference in how one's future turns out.

Careful Readers Wont Be Tricked


So Frost was absolutely correct; his poem is trickyvery tricky. In this poem, it is important to be careful with the time frame. When the speaker says he will be reporting sometime in the future how his road choice turned out, he clearly states that he cannot assign meaning to sigh and difference yet, because he cannot know how his choice will affect his future, until after he has lived it. I need a little help and feedback on this essay for my English 110 class. I am supposed to give an interpretation of "The road nottaken" by Robert Frost. It needs to be around 1000 words, I'm pretty close at around 800 right now. My problem is that I keep looking at my essay and comparing it to stuff online, and I'm just not happy with the quality of my writing. It seems that all my sentences sound the same, and the whole essay doesn't really seem to flow like most of the stuff I read. Also, it seems like I am kind of repeating the same thing over and over throughout the essay. If you could, please look it over and let me know what you think the major good and bad parts are about it. Any help is appreciated. "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost is a poem that is often to simply interpreted by readers. The poem speaks of a common scenario in life. A traveler has come to a crossroads and is forced to make a choice on which "road", or path of life, he wants to choose. Both paths are inspected equally, and the traveler makes a choice and continues down the road. The common interpretation is that the author is happy with his choice. He decides to choose the road less traveled, and for that reason he is able to say "with a sigh" in his old age that he has chosethe correct road, and that it has changed his life for the better. The decision he has made has paid off, he is not just a regular joe, he has lived an adventure by choosing the less traveled road. Upon closer reading, it appears the author doesn't know what the best road is, and is merely trying to convince others that the road he chose is best. This first stanza is generally interpreted as a person coming to an important event in their life, some life changing moment that requires deep thought. From the line "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood" it springs to mind an event of some magnitude. However, the author does not point out that this event is of any great significance. Every day we are faced with a simple diverging of roads in our lives and we make a choice, whether it is which road to take to work or what to wear. Most of us make the best choice we can and move on. In this poem, the traveler is seemingly unable to make these simple choices and becomes stuck looking at every decision with fear: "And sorry I could not travel both/And be one traveler, long I stood". Things that most people would decide with ease he obsesses over. Unable to make a decision, he stands frozen at the split in the road. The second stanza reinforces the ideas brought forth in the first stanza. The traveler decides to take one of the roads "because it was grassy and wanted wear". The common interpretation is that this means he chose the road less traveled. After careful inspection into his life changing event, he has come to the conclusion that he wants his life to be different, and so has chosen the road not many have traveled down. If this were the only line in the stanza, it would be easily interpreted this way. The problem with this interpretation are the very next lines: "Those as for that the passing there/Had worn them really about the same". The traveler realizes

First Stanza Describes Situation


The poem consists of four stanzas. In the first stanza, the speaker describes his position. He has been out walking the woods and comes to two roads, and he stands looking as far down each one as he can see. He would like to try out both, but doubts he could to that, so therefore he continues to look down the roads for a long time trying to make his decision about which road to take.

Second Stanza Decides to Take Less-Traveled Road


The speaker had looked down the first one to where it bent in the undergrowth, and in the second stanza, he reports that he decided to take the other path, because it seemed to have less traffic than the first. But then he goes on to say that they actually were very similarly worn. The second one that he took seems less traveled, but as he thinks about it, he realizes that they were really about the same. Not exactly the same but only about the same.

Third Stanza Continues Description of Roads


The third stanza continues with the cogitation about the possible differences between the two roads. He had noticed that the leaves were fresh fallen on them both and had not been walked on, but then again claims that maybe he would come back and also walk the first one sometime, but he doubted he would be able to, because in life one thing leads to another and time is short.

Fourth Stanza Two Tricky Words


The fourth stanza holds the key to the trickiness of the poem: 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. Those who interpret this poem as suggesting non-conformity take the word difference to be a positive difference. But there is nothing in the poem that suggests that this difference signals a positive outcome. The speaker could not offer such information, because he has not lived the difference yet. The other word that leads readers astray is the word sigh. By taking difference to mean a positive difference, they think that the sigh is one of nostalgic relief; however, a sigh can also mean regret. There is the oh, dear kind of sigh, but also the what a relief kind of sigh. Which one is it? If it is the relief sigh, then the difference means the speaker is glad he took the road he did; if it is the regret sigh, then the difference would not be good, and the speaker would be sighing in regret. But the plain fact is that the poem does not identify the nature of that sigh. The speaker of the poem does not even know the nature of that sigh, because that sigh and his evaluation of the difference his choice will make are

that upon a second look, the two paths were really not all that different. He was just tricking himself into believing they were different, but apart from minor differences, they were about the same. The reason he is having trouble making the decision is not because it is life changing, it is that he just cannot seem to believe in his choices. In the third stanza we see that he continues to have doubt in his decision and says "Oh! I kept the first for another day". The irony Frostintended for the reader to see was that he has no way to go back. He has already taken on the road, and "...knowing how way leads on to way,/[he] doubted if [he] should ever come back". He knows that the first path will lead to another path, that will lead to yet another path, and that he has no way to find his way back to that first split in the road. Still, he can't help but think 'what if?'. Not only was he frozen at thebeginning of the road, now he is on the road of his choice and he is still preoccupied with "the road not taken". Once again, in the first line of the third stanza, he has admitted again that "... both that morning equally lay", but the situation still doesn't seem quite in his realm of understanding. The common interpretation of the fourth stanza is that the man in the story is looking into the future and looking back on how happy he is that he took the road less traveled. The first clue to the true meaning of the stanza is the "sigh". Some view this as a sigh of relief, or a sigh of happiness. Frost wants the reader to know that the upcoming lines, the bit about the road less traveled, will be nothing more then an inflated story used by himself as an old man. Just as many others do, he will look back and tell others that he took the road less traveled, and his life is that much better for it. But this will be nothing more then a bogus story, because both roads were almost the same. The Road Not Taken By Robert Frost With Stanza Summaries and Endnotes 1 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;1 Summary, Stanza 1 On the road of life, the speaker arrives at a point where he must decide which of two equally appealing (or equally intimidating) choices is the better one. He examines one choice as best he can, but the future prevents him from seeing where it leads. 2 Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim,2 Because it was grassy and wanted wear;3 Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same, Summary, Stanza 2 The speaker selects the road that appears at first glance to be less worn and therefore less traveled. This selection suggests that he has an independent spirit and does not wish to follow the crowd. After a moment, he concludes that both roads are about equally worn.

3 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. Summary, Stanza 3 Leaves cover both roads equally. No one on this morning has yet taken either road, for the leaves lie undisturbed. The speaker remains committed to his decision to take the road he had previously selected, saying that he will save the other road for another day. He observes, however, that he probably will never pass this way again and thus will never have an opportunity to take the other road. 4 I shall be telling this with a sigh4 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. Summary, Stanza 4 In years to come, the speaker says, he will be telling others about the choice he made. While doing so, he will sigh either with relief that he made the right choice or with regret that he made the wrong choice. Whether right or wrong, the choice will have had a significant impact on his life. Notes 1..The road beyond the bend may represent the future or the unknown, neither of which can be perceived. 2..Here, Frost uses personification, saying that the road has a claim. 3..Personification occurs here also if wanted means desired. No personification occurs, however, if wanted means lacked. 4..Sigh can indicate relief or happiness, or it can indicate regret or sorrow. The interpretation of its meaning is up to the reader.