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Notes On "Road Not Taken"

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The Road Not Taken

By Robert Frost

Overview of the Poem

• Walking in a wood and the road comes to a fork

• He stands a long time at the meeting of the two roads and looks down one path as far as he can but it disappears in the вЂ?undergrowth’ as it takes a bend

• He then considers the second path. He sees it is less worn and has more grass. The leaves are still untrodden so the paths remain fresh and exciting. It seems that he is the first traveller to pass this way for a while

• вЂ?long I stood’ shows that he contemplated the decision

• The persona begins to think about how he cannot take both paths and be the same “traveler”

• “Oh, I kept the first for another day!” Despite this wish he realizes he can never come back and take the untaken path because his choice will lead him in a different direction. He knows that “way leads on to way.” Realistically he doubts if he will ever come back because it is impossible to return to that place and make the same choice under similar circumstances because the original choice will have changed his life

• Frost realizes that had he taken the other road he would not be where he is today. He was adventurous and choose the road that had been traveled the least recently and that one decision changed his life

• He will be telling the story about his choice with a “sigh”. This suggests a more reflective stance on his choice and the effect it will have on his life.

• “Ages and ages hence” when he tells the story of his choice he will wonder about his life if he had taken the other road

Analysis of poem

• In вЂ?The Road Not Taken’ Frost has used the journey to offer ideas about how effective decisions are made. He also explores how our choices in life move us through life so that returning to previous times and situations becomes unlikely if not impossible

• On the surface the poem seems to be a meditation on past events and actions, a contemplative reflection about what has gone on before. Research into the poem informs us that the poem is written with a sense of irony

• The ambiguity which dominates the poem seems to be intentional. The only certainty in the poem is that it deals with a solitary traveler who has come to a fork in the road and must choose which way to go.

• Frost uses the technique of monologue that moves us toward an understanding of a spiritual or psychological moment in time

• The poem is in the first person which instantly brings the audience close to the experience being recounted

• It is a poem that is said to be about Frost’s own choice to become a poet, a less popular career choice in his time. However, the poem can be applied to life and the decisions people make in it.

• The road is a metaphor for choices that you have to make during your life

• The poem is seen by many as a reflection which is aided by the choice of words Frost uses, as well as the tense he employs in this text. The poem is certainly a metaphor; and this is what transforms this journey from a physical one to an inner journey.

• This atmosphere is important for the messages of the poem. The persona travelling in a “yellow wood” where the colour may well symbolize the maturity and understanding that the persona reaches

• It is important that



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