An analysis of a famous poem the road not taken by robert frost
External factors therefore make up his mind for him.
The road not taken analysis line by line
With that, we are left to wonder how Frost knew the road he took was the one less traveled by. Any person who has made a decisive choice will agree that it is human nature to contemplate the "What if Parallelism : Parallelism is the use of a source of words, phrases or sentences that have similar grammatical forms. External factors therefore make up his mind for him. Identical forks, in particular, symbolize for us the nexus of free will and fate: We are free to choose, but we do not really know beforehand what we are choosing between. While, Frost had not originally intended for this to be an inspirational poem, line by line, the speaker is encouraging each reader to seek out his or her own personal path in the journey of life. The ambiguity springs from the question of free will versus determinism, whether the speaker in the poem consciously decides to take the road that is off the beaten track or only does so because he doesn't fancy the road with the bend in it. And he admits that someday in the future he will recreate the scene with a slight twist: He will claim that he took the less-traveled road. By the end of the second stanza, the speaker still has not made a choice about which path to take. The act of assigning meanings—more than the inherent significance of events themselves—defines our experience of the past. But by making the metaphor a road Frost makes it clear that few have chosen to take the harder route through life because it is less trodden upon. Paths in the woods and forks in roads are ancient and deep-seated metaphors for the lifeline, its crises and decisions. 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. When the road failed to yield the hoped-for rarities, Thomas would rue his choice, convinced the other road would have doubtless led to something better.
With 6 kids and a wife, he had a lot of people to provide for. The yellow leaves also evoke a sense of transience; one season will soon give way to another.
The road not taken summary
When they went walking together, Thomas was chronically indecisive about which road they ought to take and—in retrospect—often lamented that they should, in fact, have taken the other one. The self has been split. With 6 kids and a wife, he had a lot of people to provide for. The speaker is in two minds. The poem also wryly undercuts the idea that division is inevitable: the language of the last stanza evokes two simultaneous emotional stances. Frost liked to tease and goad. Each line contains four stressed syllables. So, the tone is meditative. Instead, he believed it was a serious reflection on the need for decisive action. This poem is about the road taken, to be sure, as well the road not taken, not necessarily the road less traveled. The repetition of I—as well as heightening the rhetorical drama—mirrors this idea of division. The metaphor is activated.
This tonal shift subtly illustrates the idea that the concept of choice is, itself, a kind of artifice. The traveler must go one way, or the other.
It is normal to wonder what the outcome would have been if the other road, the road not taken, was the road chosen. Then, the poet reaches a fork in the road. The analysis of some of the major poetic devices used in this poem is given here. Defining the wood with one feature prefigures one of the essential ideas of the poem: the insistence that a single decision can transform a life.
The road not taken analysis
But life is rarely that simple. He tells himself that he will take the other road another day, although he knows it is unlikely that he will have the opportunity to do so. The meter is basically iambic tetrameter , with each line having four two-syllable feet. At the moment of decision-making, both roads present themselves equally, thus the choice of which to go down is, essentially, a toss up—a game of chance. Which way will you go? The first stanza conveys a mood of change and introduces the idea of a life altering decision, which is the basis for the poem. Frost liked to tease and goad. History[ edit ] Frost spent the years to in England, where among his acquaintances was the writer Edward Thomas. Frost also mentions the color black in the lines: And both the morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. This tonal shift subtly illustrates the idea that the concept of choice is, itself, a kind of artifice. But by making the metaphor a road Frost makes it clear that few have chosen to take the harder route through life because it is less trodden upon.
By the end of the second stanza, the speaker still has not made a choice about which path to take. Use of this description could be that fall is upon the wood or the trees perhaps once white have yellowed with age.
Some have said that it is one of his most misunderstood poems, claiming that it is not simply a poem that champions the idea of "following your own path", but that the poem, they suggest, expresses some irony regarding that idea.
The syntax of the first stanza also mirrors this desire for simultaneity: three of the five lines begin with the word and.
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