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The Road Not Taken Vs. Mother To Son

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Paths are Like Stairs

Although they portray two very different writing styles, Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" and Langston Hughes's "Mother to Son" have a few things in common, especially their meanings.

In "The Road not Taken" Frost speaks of a time in his life where he had to make a choice, a choice of which direction his life was about to go: "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood / And sorry I could not travel both" (1-2). "Mother to Son" also speaks of life in a metaphorical way, but as a staircase rather than two paths: "Well, son, I'll tell you / Life for me ain't been no crystal stair" (1-2).

Later in "The Road Not Taken" Frost describes the appearance of each road, one as being less traveled on than the other by people before him who had to make the same decision: "And looked down one as far as I could / Then took the other, just as fair / Because it was grassy and wanted wear" (4,6,8). "Mother to Son" takes it another step as to describe the staircase the mother had to climb. She explains how hard it was but also how she never gave up: "It's had tacks in it / And splinters / And boards torn up / But all the time / I'se been a-climbin' on" (3-5,8-9).

"The Road Not Taken" ends by giving a moral to us about Frost's life and the path he did take. Although Frost doesn't thoroughly explain the path he took, the reader gets the impression it was one of integrity and hard work because the majority of people took the easy way out instead: "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I / I took the one less traveled by / And that has made all the difference" (18-20). "Mother to Son" also ends with a moral, a moral to her son. She tells him how hard the climb was and how she is still climbing to this day and that's what he will have to do. She warns him never to rest or be content where he is at and never to fall off the staircase



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