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Commentary on the Road Not Taken.

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Introduction

Commentary on the Road Not Taken The Road Not Taken is a poem which holds great significance to our every-day lives. Every moment of our life, we are forced to make a choice. Every choice has an opportunity cost and every decision has its own good and bad consequences. A small anecdote, I hope, will explain how much this poem relates to my life. When I first read this poem, I immediately thought about that horrendous day, two years ago, when my driver had perhaps chosen the wrong path; the path which 'wanted wear'; under the illusion that he had the 'better claim'. He chose not to take the other path because he felt he needed to take the 'less-traveled path'. But after reading this poem, I wonder if that appalling accident could have been avoided if he chose to take the other track. The theme of this poem is the choices that one is forced to make in life. As is seen from the very first stanza of the poem, there is a dilemma or what some critics call 'the attractive archetypal human dilemma'. In the line "And sorry I could not travel both", the word 'both' immediately indicates that Frost wanted to take both the paths, but being 'one traveler', he had to make a choice. The choice, it is clearly shown, was not an easy one "...long I stood and looked down as far as I could...". ...read more.

Middle

The first and perhaps the most important reason is that in the woods, whatever the road that one takes, the outcome is not known. Frost tried looking down to where 'it bent in the undergrowth', but he could still not see where it lead. It signifies that in reality, we never know what the choice that we make will lead us to. The second reason why this setting was ideal for the theme is that in the wood, one never knows when he/she will be called upon to make a decision. As is seen, Robert Frost was suddenly in front of a fork, forced to make a choice which will in turn decide his destiny. This is similar to what happens in real life; one never knows when to make a choice. The third reason that this setting is ideal is because it is where appearance can be deceptive. Frost chose what appeared like a 'grassy' road that 'wanted wear' but eventually realized that both the roads had worn out equally ('worn them about the same'). This again relates to life in that when a decision has to be made, the choice should not depend on external appearances. The imagery created is typical of Frost. In many of Frost's poems, nature imagery is always seen. In this poem, the setting itself is in the woods, which provides the most stereotypical image of nature. ...read more.

Conclusion

But the word 'sigh' shows that in the back of his mind, he will know that both the paths were equally worn out and there was no 'less traveled path'. 'Sigh' could also be showing Frost's regret. It shows that he would sigh - indicating unhappiness and dissatisfaction at his decision - and proceed to tell his twisted story. The title is of a very ambiguous nature. At first glance, the title could suggest that the poem is likely to feature around a choice one has to make. However, on analyzing the title carefully, the word 'not' in the title could suggest a longing for the path that Frost did not take or the word 'not' could also signify the fact that no person traveled on that road. The poem on the whole was made interesting from the very first stanza, when the dilemma was seen. I wanted to continue reading to see which road Frost would take, and what the final outcome would be. For me, the poem carries with it concrete links to every-day life. The decision made in this poem is not right or wrong; there is no 'right path' or 'wrong path'. There are only two paths: one that is chosen and one that is not. What I will most remember about this poem is not the decision that Frost takes, but the dilemma involved in making that decision. That is the dilemma one faces when entering the realm of human psychology. ...read more.

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