The Road Not Taken

Analysis of "The Road Not Taken" By Robert Frost
Paper #2
English 1B



"Do not follow where the path may lead? Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." (Robert Frost)
In life, each and every one of us is on a journey to our own destination. Every-where that we go we will have to make decisions that will lead us to many different choices, and ultimately will determine our fate. There are many paths that can be taken in the road of life, and it is up to us to make sure we take the right one. No matter what Robert Frost intended to convey to the reader in "The Road Not Taken", this poem had many different meanings. It all depends on how we interpret it, but no matter what you get from reading this poem, the main concept that this poem demonstrates is that it is the road that one chooses that makes them who they are.
Throughout "The Road Not Taken", Robert Frost brings together many different literary techniques to express the theme or themes of his poem. The two themes that I got from the poem were, 1) the dilemma of making a choice, and the danger of not knowing where that decision will take you, and 2) a tale telling the reader to be different, and to take the road "less traveled".
"And sorry I could not travel both?" It is always hard to make important decisions because you are always going to wonder what might have happened if you had chosen the other path. The speaker has no way of knowing what awaits him at either of his destinations, but he still must choose between the two paths.
The most common literary technique in "The Road Not Taken" is symbolism. The whole poem is very symbolic because the speaker reflects on the decision that he has to make, and the consequences of that decision. The choice that he has to make is not just which road should he walk down, because that would be insignificant. The choice he has to make will affect the rest of his life and determine his own fate. It shows us how each and every choice we make effects our lives in ways that we will never know. Once you make a decision to do something, there is no turning back and you will never know what might have happened if?
In the first stanza of the poem the speaker must choose between two paths that diverge into a yellow dark wood. "In Frost?s poems, woods often symbolize the world in which we live. The dark woods represent the privacy of the self, the sacred domain where poetry is made." (Contemporary Literary Criticism) The first of the two paths is the more common route compared to the other path which was "less traveled". Frost presents us with a challenge that we all face in our daily lives-taking the easy way out. If you choose the easy, more traveled route, the out come is more predictable than if you take the more challenging way. Many of us tend to choose the more traveled path because we know exactly what is going to come of it. People, in general like to stay in their comfort zone, and that is doing what you know, and taking the more challenging way is too threatening or difficult for the average person to do.
"Doubted if I should ever come back". This is the author thinking about how he will never be able to come back knowing that what he chooses now will effect every other choice he makes from now on.
Imagery is another characteristic of Robert Frost?s poem. "In several of Frost?s poems, the imagery of woods, trees, and leaves is so intimately and persistently identified with certain psychological states as to assume a symbolic significance." (Contemporary Literary Criticism) "And both that morning equally lay in leaves no step had trodden black." The leaves were all covering the ground, and since the time that they fell no person had walked on that road. This means that each time a person has to make a choice it is new to them, and they tend to feel that no one else has been there