The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

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The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost


Standing Out
In Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken," the writer's tone and setting help to illustrate the struggle every person goes through to pick the correct path. I find this poem greatly related to my own life, since I have chosen a path taken by so few, a path of academia and self-sacrifice. The general subject of this poem is a person faced with two roads, two ideas, and two possibilities for action. "The Road Not Taken" addresses the choice between these two roads, and with the results of the choice which the poet makes. This paradox raises the evident question of whether it is better to choose a path in life on which many people travel, or to choose the path less traveled and explore it for oneself.
A number of years ago I made the conscious decision to redirect my life. The path that I chose was a path of schooling and following my long term dreams. As long as I can remember, I have wanted to work in medicine. As I started to work toward my goals I discovered that what lies ahead is unknown, scary, and not very different from any other choice. The effort that I put into my future will be exponentially multiplied when I finally reach my goal. I have found that this poem relates to my decision in many ways.
The setting in "The Road Not Taken" seems very important. In the first verse of the first stanza, Frost says, "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood," which is seemingly a very unimportant part of the poem. This line, however, is a metaphor in which Frost uses woods to represent life. Using this as an image helps to have a better understanding of the complexity of the problem that the speaker is facing. If someone were standing at the edge of some woods, you would not be able to clearly see what was ahead of you, because trees and branches would obstruct it. Just as I never know what lies ahead of me in my journey. Many things have happened that I never would have expected. Life is like those woods because no one can clearly see or predict what will happen in the future, only hope to choose a path that will lead you to good fortune and happiness.
I find it possible to read this poem as a statement of some self-pity on the poet's part, a feeling, perhaps, that he has been beguiled and misunderstood because he, like me, favored an isolated path.

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To support this articulation, one can point to the last stanza, "I shall be telling this with a sigh; Somewhere ages and ages hence". I will be giving up the best years of my life in order to achieve my goal. The path that Robert Frost and I have chosen leads far away from the normal social exploits of life.
At the end of the second stanza, Frost states that there was really not much difference in the difficulty between two roads; "And both that morning equally lay; I leaves no step had trodden black." With this, it becomes obvious that the writer's tone begins to change. It becomes a little more self-assured, less disconcerted and fearful than earlier. The best glimpse of this change in tone is in the second stanza, where Frost says, "because is [the second road] was grassy and wanted wear." It also shows that Frost, like myself, does not want to be like everybody else, a follower, but instead, he wishes to choose a different road and be himself, a leader. I delight in the fact that I am different and that my path does not conform to the rest of the world.
My resolve to change my life was not one of a quick, snap decision. The time that I took deliberating my decision is shown in the poem when Frost states that, "Oh, I kept the first for another day". The tone gives a feeling as if to say that it took him a long time to make his decision. It actually may have been months or even years before the speaker chose a road. He knew that the decision he made would determine the outcome of his life, and that he would have to be devoted to the road he chose. Once he made this decision, he would probably never be able to turn back. One cannot know when he makes a choice, what the results of his decision will be. The Tone of the line gives a feeling that rather than being sorry that he took the untravelled road, Frost seems to be saying that he would do the same thing again given the chance.
I feel that this poem supplies the reader with a situation that every person has to face at least once in his or her life. That situation is that everyone has to struggle to try to put his or her life on the right road, the road that leads them to what they believe to be happiness. I have found my road, my path, "…and that has made all the difference."
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