Commentary on the poem The Road Not Taken written by Robert Frost.

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The poem ‘The Road Not Taken’ is written by Robert Frost. Known to be a nature poet, Frost’s poems use nature to convey universal messages. Written in first person, the poem addresses the themes of Choice and its Regrets. We make choices throughout our lives, some change our lives for the better whereas some for the worse.

Set during the season of autumn, the traveller is walking down the woods and is faced with a choice between two paths. Every aspect of both paths were identical, there was no differentiating factor. This can be inferred from phrases such as ‘just as fair’, ‘equally lay’ and ‘about the same’. If there was a distinguishing factor then one road would have become more attractive than the other. As the poem unfolds, the traveller is shown to have taken the path ‘less travelled by’. It can be termed a courageous decision as the traveller tread on a path which very few have treaded on.  This can be inferred from ‘...and wanted wear’, this illustrates that the road was less travelled by and needed someone to trod on it. The poem closes with the lines ‘I took the one less...difference’. This line has two connotations to it. First, it can be said that traveller is regretting his decision. He believes his choice has changed his life for the worse and regrets about what he missed, what the second choice held for me? Where would I have been? Secondly, it can be said that the traveller is appreciating his decision and portraying how his choice has changed his life for the better. The hyphen after ‘I’ causes a break in the flow of the poem, to stress upon the importance of the choices made in life. Each choice in life is important. It can be said that the poem is a recollection of choices made by Frost is his early days. A reflection of his choice of becoming a poet and how this has changed his life i.e. ‘made all the difference’.  

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The poem is a metaphor for ‘Life’. The two roads represent the many choices we need to make in life. A choice has to be made and we ponder and contemplate the positives and negatives before making one. ‘To where it bent in the undergrowth’, we may reflect over the choices as much as we want but one cannot determine the end result until one makes it. We like many things in life, but at a point in time we need to forgo one. ‘Oh, I kept the first for another day!’ , we decide upon one and think that ...

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