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Compare the presentation of significant moments of personal identity in ‘Unknown Girl’ and ‘The road not taken’

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'The Road Not Taken' and 'An Unknown Girl' both are written by authors with a peculiar background. 'An Unknown Girl' is by Moniza Alvi who resides in England but was born in Pakistan reflects her ethnic background in 'An Unknown Girl', where she goes to India to search for her identity. 'The Road Not Taken' was written by Robert Frost who had many professions, a teacher, mill worker, newspaper reporter, farmer and then finally a poet. His life background is reflected in the poem because the poem is about making a choice between different paths. 'The Road Not Taken' is a conceit because the poet is telling us about how he faced two decisions in his life and a decision at this crossroad he encountered. 'Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,' Yellow usually represents cowardice, but by saying 'yellow wood' he tells us that it is Autumn and it could be that Autumn represents his later years in life or that he is just around the corner from death. However in 'An Unknown Girl' right from the beginning we learn that the poet is confused about her identity when she says, 'an 'An Unknown Girl' is hennaing my hand.' ...read more.


This part of the second stanza is saying the poet wants to be challenged and does not want to follow the crowd in taking the worn away path, which everyone else did, but wants to take the path that seemed fresh and untouched because it may have been more difficult to pass. This literally refers to the choice in path, but also his choice in a life career because he doesn't want to be something regular like a teacher or doctor, but wants to have a different life than the rest of society. In 'An Unknown Girl' the poet also experiences a moment where she wants to be that something special, or different when she says, 'I am clinging to these peacock lines like people who cling to the sides of a train.' She is literally talking about not loosing the henna lines on her hand but actually, she is showings how she is struggling to grasp onto the new culture and she is in danger of losing touch with it. This shows that she is unsure of her Indian roots and she feels that she should be physically marked so she can identify herself with Indian culture. ...read more.


The caesura after by emphasises his disbelief that he caused the problem for himself. The repetition of I, shows he regrets the choice and wants to go back, but cannot. He shows frustration and bitterness at his once in a lifetime decision that he has ruined by taking the one path he thought was a challenge, but the challenge beat him. Both, 'The Road Not Taken' and 'An Unknown Girl' deal with the pressures of finding ones true identity, in 'The Road Not Taken' the poet has to chose a path on a crossroad, which reflects how he needs to come to a decision in real life as to what he really wants to do or be. In 'An Unknown Girl', the poet wants to find out who she really is and is in search of her true roots in India. In both there is an ultimate ending where everything goes back to how it was or back to a normal lifestyle without the other identity or life they could have had. ?? ?? ?? ?? Compare the presentation of significant moments of personal identity in 'Unknown Girl' and 'The road not taken' ...read more.

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