Robert Frost – The Road Not Taken

“The Road Not Taken” is one of Robert Frost’s most well-known and well-crafted poems. Despite the fact that it appears to be a short and simple piece of art, it has received various interpretations. Linguists and poets alike had been debating and debating the message that Robert Frost wished to convey when he wrote this work of art. The structure of the poem is discussed in this article. It also aims to understand how the author used literary skills and techniques to create such an engaging production, as well as how he managed to elicit intense debates about the context and its inner meaning. Typically, the structure of this piece includes a total of four stanzas, each of them having five lines. Additionally, every line is roughly organized in an iambic rhythm with a range of about 8 to 10 syllables. The rhyme scheme is arguably irregular and forms an abaab pattern. The identity of the narrator is inclined to that of a risk taker who does not follow the will of the majority. He is also full of hope as he takes an unconventional route but expects a positive outcome. The theme of this poem is risk taking. People should sometimes take necessary risks which can eventually pay dividends rather than always doing what other people are tired of. Besides, the title of this poem is directly translates to the theme. Undoubtedly, they are both referring to the same agenda: following an avant-garde route.
The narrator is in a dilemma. He is predisposed to two optional roads, and he has to make a decision on which path to set upon because they have diverged. One path is relatively easy to take, as it is the road many people have used before. The other path is “bends in the undergrowth” as the author asserts (Frost, 1975). Ideally, it means that this road is not an easy one to follow, and for this reason most people have ignored it. He discovers that it has been abandoned due to the absence of steps which is replaced by the compressed leaves spread on the path..
However, the narrator eventually chooses the latter after critical reasoning. The implicit meaning is that sometimes it is okay to follow a course that relatively few people have used. An individual may not be certain on what surprises it holds; if he unluckily finds out that it was a wrong choice, he will learn a life lesson. In contrast, if it is, fortunately, a fruitful option, the darer might enjoy all the goodies alone before the rest realize it. The speaker is proud that he will one day tell generations that he was brave enough to take a risk that no one else had already done.
The writer carefully used symbols to place the work into context. For instance, the whole poem is based on actual roads that are common in people’s daily life. Frost intends to pass a message that, anytime a person makes a decision, there are always two or more options involved. Therefore, there is virtually no easy decision to make. Choosing to follow a strange route needs more courage which is embodied in the hope that everything will turn out positively. The last line of the poem is an example of the favorable outcome that is anticipated, “…and that has made all the difference” (Frost, 1975). However, regardless of whether the move is right or not, it would still have a significant impact on the life of the maker.
The widely used literary tool in this poem is symbolism. From the beginning, the writer utilizes this aspect to pass the message in a discrete manner, which is by far a dominating style in poetry. Indeed, the setting is itself symbolic. In the first line, the narrator says, “two roads diverged in a yellow wood.” This indicates that it is an autumnal journey in the midst of a forest, suggesting that the challenge is a difficult one. It is also worth noting that he is alone. Nevertheless, he has to make a choice. The absence of a travelling companion left him no choice but to decide on his own. Besides, the speaker is sorry for his inability to traverse both paths and still be referred to as a single traveler. Here, Frost intends to demonstrate the personal limitations which human beings face in the different facets of life. Another symbolic feature used by the writer is portrayed in the line, “Because it was grassy and wanted wear” (Frost, 1975).Usually, grass does not grow on a busy route. So, the presence grass is a manifestation of abandonment and inactivity. In life when faced with a tough decision, the inability to find any viable consult is a clear revelation that the decision is not common among many.
The mood of this poem is confusion. The narrator is standing at crossroads wondering which way to follow. He is alone, so, he cannot refer to anyone for advice. However, it ends with relief and motivation. He finally makes up his mind, and he is thrilled to have set upon that path. He is motivated to one day explain to his grandchildren (presumably) what made the difference in his life. Indeed, he notes that he will “sigh” as he is telling the story; predictably because he would be satisfied he took a less traveled path which ultimately proved the right one (predictably).

Reference
Frost, R. (1975). The road not taken. Stemmer House Publishers.

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