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Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” is very well-known, but sadly, most people misunderstand it, which contributes much to the poem’s appeal. Frost has provided the world with a work of literature with this poem that everyone can identify with, particularly when it comes to the idea of choices and possibilities in life.
In reality, “The Road Not Taken” refrains from advising on choosing a certain path to take. Frost’s perspective on this is a little complicated. When each person looks from a future perspective, the green pathways and golden trees symbolize the present. This self-awareness is ironic and pitiful all by itself. The decision to choose the less-traveled path will be the one the future self regrets the most. His remorse in this instance is eternal in hindsight.
About the poet
American poet Robert Lee Frost (1874–1963) is renowned for his accurate portrayals of rural life and grasp of American common English. He was given the Congressional Gold Medal in 1960 and was the only poet to win four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry. In 1961, he was chosen as Vermont’s poet laureate.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Due to the language used to describe two actual roads physically parting ways in “a yellow wood,” the opening of “A Road Not Taken” has powerful imagery. Indeed, a forest displaying autumnal colors. Line two rushes to illustrate the concept of regret by saying the person is “sorry” before he has even chosen a course of action.
In essence, we find ourselves watching a critical moment where he must make a choice that is challenging for him. Lines three through five show that the individual is attempting to see as far as possible down each route to assist him to determine which one to go.
Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear; Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same,
The idea that one path was less trafficked than the other is clarified in this line. The character believes that the path he selected was superior since it was inviting and “wanted wear.” The fact that people always select the road that appeals to them and looks interesting to them, even though both pathways have an equal chance of leading there, highlights the character of human beings.
And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back.
The poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost is about a person choosing to choose the other path. In lines eleven and twelve, the speaker observes that no one had disturbed the leaves and that both roads were essentially identical. In lines fourteen and fifteen, the person admits to himself that it is doubtful he will go back and use that other route since he is aware that as time goes on, he will keep coming across new roads that will lead him further away from this location.
I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
The poem’s final verse emphasizes the nature of regrets. The protagonist chooses to be dishonest while recounting his decision because he anticipates feeling guilty. To project the image of a guy who took a chance and succeeded in life, he decided to inform others that he took the “less traveled by” road.
This educates readers that making plans for their final destination is stupid since they never know where life will lead them. Life is not about the “road not taken,” it is about the ones you do choose to follow.