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The Road Not Taken Essay: Figurative and Literal Meaning


"The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost is a poem that seems simple and direct but actually has a two-fold meaning. Frost lures in the readers with a rhythmic poem that could have a figurative or literal meaning depending upon the reader's assessment.

Literally, "The Road Not Taken" is about a traveler who is walking in the woods and has come upon two roads. The traveler cannot travel both roads and thus must make a decision which one to walk. He evaluates both roads and chooses the road less traveled realizing that he cannot back. The poem ends by the traveler stating that his choosing the road less traveled has made all the difference.

Figuratively, "The Road Not Taken" can be applied to a person's life. The traveler is a person who has two choices, which are represented in the poem by the two roads in the woods. The person takes the time to consider both choices and all sides to them by examining the paths. The traveler cannot come back to the other road and as in life if a choice is made, it is impossible to redo. The person must choose between the choices many make or the choice that few make.

I love this poem mainly because I can relate to the figurative side of the poem. Many of the choices I have made were the roads less traveled by others. For example, I am a girl majoring in an agricultural field that is considered by most to be a man's field. I also show cattle, which is dominated by men. Many believe that I do not belong in either and that I am not man enough to handle my cattle or the job I have chosen for my future career. I was also criticized in high school for being the smart kid and for not partying with the popular crowd. I do not regret my choices because they have affected my life greatly. I have met countless people involved in agricultural who have touched my life. I am also proud that I studied in high school because of all the opportunities that keeping good grades have brought me. So this poem appeals to me because I have chosen the road less traveled and that has made all the difference.

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