Life Choices in Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken and Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
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Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” and “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” both portray weighing of choices in life. The former is about youth and experiencing life and the latter is about old age, or more probably, an old spirit wearied by life. In both poems the speaker is in a critical situation where he has to choose between two paths in life. In “The Road Not taken” the speaker chooses the unconventional approach to the decision making process, thus showing his uniqueness and challenging mentality while in “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” the speaker seeks a life without any pain and struggle but at the end, he has to comply with social obligation, which reflects his responsibility towards the society.
In the poem, “The Road Not Taken”, the speaker has to make a big decision in his life. This poem talks about a person who comes across an intersection or a fork in the road and he has to choose which way to follow. The road is a metaphor of the choices we make in life. As the speaker ponders his choices, he feels strongly that whatever “road” he takes will be for good. So he must weigh his decision well in order to come up with the best choice and not end up regretting it. The speaker considers his thought wisely. He says, “And looked down as far as I could / To where it bent in the undergrowth”, by giving it a proper thought he weighs his choices well and in the end, chooses to follow the road “less traveled”. “The Road Not Taken” signifies a difficult choice in a person’s life that could offer him an easy or hard way out. There is no assurance of what lies ahead; if there will be success or sorrows. But a person has to take risk making up his mind about which way to choose because this is the first step of head...
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... woods, which are “lovely” as well as “deep and dark” (13).
Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” and “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” provide us contrasting and sometimes similar glimpses of life. “The Road Not Taken” is about taking control and living life. “Stopping by Woods on Snowy Evening” entails the desire for rest, perhaps due to the speaker’s feelings of weariness from facing life’s struggles. The poet also explains the tough choices people stand before when traveling the road of life. Sometimes people regret the possibilities of the road not chosen, sometimes people feel proud about the road they have chosen.
1. Frost, Robert. Robert Frost’s Poems. Ed. Louis Untermeyer. New York: Washington Square Press, 1968. 194.
2. Frost, Robert. Robert Frost’s Poems. Ed. Louis Untermeyer. New York: Washington Square Press, 1968. 223.
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