Comparing The Lover Not Taken, by Blanche Farley and The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

Comparing The Lover Not Taken, by Blanche Farley and The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

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Decisions are made every day, and greater the number of choices, the harder it becomes to evaluate the opportunity cost of a particular option, especially when the outcomes are unknown. Everyone experience a dilemma at some point in life, maybe, critical enough to alter their fates; some regret while others rejoice. Such is the case for the narrator, of “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, who is required to choose his fate. There is deep regret because he “could not travel both” only to settle for the “one less traveled by” (19). Blanche Farley, however, tries to cheat out of regret through her lead character of “The Lover Not Taken;” a companion poem of “The Road Not Taken,” only with a parodistic spin. Although the poems share common features of structure, style and a common theme, there is a distinct difference in the imagery and perspectives in the respective poems.
The poem “The Lover Not Taken” share an identical structure with “The Road Not Taken,” with an extra stanza containing two lines where Farley throws in the punch line to make a point. Both the poems develop a unique pattern of rhyming, where the first, third and fourth line rhyme; also, second and the fifth line end with rhyming words. Despite the use of similar words such as “stood” (2) and “sigh” (16), Farley manages to create an unrestrained and dynamic lead character, while Frost portrays a slow pace. Farley, although portraying similar theme to that of Frost’s poem, intentionally contradicts the ideas in “The Road Not Taken,” only to unexpectedly choose the path “less travelled by” – the path of lust over love (Frost 19). She is willing to sacrifice an understanding lover for something that maybe a one night stand or worse. It is difficult t...


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...stic and in many ways pessimistic and there is despair even before the journey has begun.
The poems despite their differences share a common theme and the poetic elements are matched well. Farley being from a relatively modern era reflects a more daring approach to decision making compared to Frost. However, “The Lover Not Taken” does add a different dimension and further understanding of “The Road Not Taken.” The poems are definitely bound to add to the philosophical ideas of their respective audiences, especially when compared.



Works Cited

Frost, Robert. “The Road Not Taken.” Literature and the Writing Process. Ed. Elizabeth McMahan et al. 8th ed. Upper Saddle River: Pearson, 2007. 695-696. Print.
Frost, Robert. “The Lover Not Taken.” Literature and the Writing Process. Ed. Elizabeth McMahan et al. 8th ed. Upper Saddle River: Pearson, 2007. 696-697.

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