Frost 2 Essay, Research Paper
Explication of The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost, a poet from the early Twentieth Century, is well known not only for his elegant style, but for his use of great symbolism throughout his works. In The Road Not Taken , he depicted his theme and meaning through a four stanza poem which consisted of a set rhyme scheme (A, B, A, A, B). This poem has left its readers with many different interpretations. It is one s past, present, and the attitude with which he looks upon his future that determines the shade of the light that he will see the poem in. In any case, however, this poem clearly demonstrates Frost s belief that it is the road that one chooses that makes him the man who he is.
In the first stanza, the narrator says, And sorry I could not travel both… This quote is plainly explaining how difficult is it to make a decision because it is impossible not to wonder about the opportunity cost; what the decision maker will miss out on. There is a strong sense of regret before the choice is even made and it lies in the knowledge that in one lifetime, it is impossible to travel down every path. In an attempt to make a decision, the traveler looks down one as far as I could . The road that will be chosen leads to the unknown, as does any choice in life. As much as he may strain his eyes to see as far the road stretches, eventually it surpasses his vision and he can never see where it is going to lead. It is the way that he chooses here that sets him off on his journey and decides where he is going.
Then took the other, just as fair, and having perhaps the better claim. This quote in the second stanza and what made it have the better claim was that, it was grassy and wanted wear. It was something that was obviously not for everyone because it seemed that the majority of people took the other path and therefore he calls it the road less traveled by. The fact that the traveler took this path over the more popular, secure one indicates the type of personality he has; one that does not want to necessarily follow the crowd but do more of what has never been done and is different.
In the third stanza, the narrator says And both that morning equally lay in leaves no step had trodden black. The leaves had covered the ground and since the time they had fallen no one had yet to pass by on this road. Perhaps the narrator does this because each time person comes to the point where they have to make a choice, it is new to them, somewhere they have never been and they tend to feel as though no one else had ever been there either. I kept the first for another day! The desire to travel down both paths is expressed and is not unusual, but knowing how way leads on to way , the speaker of this poem realizes that the decision is not just a temporary one and he doubted if I should ever come back. This is his common sense of speaking and acknowledgment that what he chooses now will affect every other choice he makes afterward. Once you have performed an act or spoken a word that crystallizes who you are, there is no turning back; it can not be undone.
The end of the poem in the fourth stanza, the regret seems to hang over the traveler like a heavy cloud about to burst. He realizes that at the end of his life, somewhere ages and ages hence , he will have regrets about having never gone back and traveling down the roads he did not take. Yet he remains proud of his decision and he recognizes that it was this path that he chose that made him turn out the way he did and live his life that way in which he lived it. I took the road less traveled by and that made all the difference. To this man, what was most important and what really made the difference was that he did what he wished; even if it meant taking the road less traveled. If he hadn t, he wouldn t be the same man he had become.
There are many equally valid meanings to this poem that Robert Frost may or may not have intended. All in all, it seems that he is trying to portray the message that decision making may be hard but the right thing to do is never to follow. Frost is trying to promote individuality by encouraging the reader to follow their heart and not someone else s. He s plainly saying to take The Road Not Taken.