The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

959 Words4 Pages
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost Overview of the Poem • Walking in a wood and the road comes to a fork • He stands a long time at the meeting of the two roads and looks down one path as far as he can but it disappears in the ‘undergrowth’ as it takes a bend • He then considers the second path. He sees it is less worn and has more grass. The leaves are still untrodden so the paths remain fresh and exciting. It seems that he is the first traveller to pass this way for a while • ‘long I stood’ shows that he contemplated the decision • The persona begins to think about how he cannot take both paths and be the same “traveler” • “Oh, I kept the first for another day!” Despite this wish he realizes he can never come back and take the untaken path because his choice will lead him in a different direction. He knows that “way leads on to way.” Realistically he doubts if he will ever come back because it is impossible to return to that place and make the same choice under similar circumstances because the original choice will have changed his life • Frost realizes that had he taken the other road he would not be where he is today. He was adventurous and choose the road that had been traveled the least recently and that one decision changed his life • He will be telling the story about his choice with a “sigh”. This suggests a more reflective stance on his choice and the effect it will have on his life. • “Ages and ages hence” when he tells the story of his choice he will wonder about his life if he had taken the other road Analysis of poem • In ‘The Road Not Taken’ Frost has used the journey to offer ideas about how effective decisions are made. He also explores how our choices in life move us through life so that returning to previous times and situations becomes unlikely if not impossible • On the surface the poem seems to be a meditation on past events and actions, a contemplative reflection about what has gone on before. Research into the poem informs us that the poem is written with a sense of irony • The ambiguity which dominates the poem seems to be intentional. The only certainty in the poem is that it deals with a solitary traveler who has come to a fork in the road and must choose which way to go.

More about The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

Open Document