The from the rest of the poem.

March 24, 2019 General Studies

The poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost is about a man reflecting on a choice he once made. While the outcome of this choice is not said to be positive or negative the speaker states that the choice and the consequences of that choice has made a huge difference in the way his life has unfolded.
The poem consists of four stanzas, each containing five lines. The rhyme scheme is ABAAB. Then, in the last line the rhyme is broken with the word “difference” making the ending stand out from the rest of the poem. Each line also contains four stressed syllables. There are also several rhyming patterns throughout the poem, with several examples within each stanza. In the first stanza “both, undergrowth” are used, and other rhyming words such as “claim, same”, “lay, day, way”, and “sigh, by, I” are also used throughout the four stanzas. The rhyme scheme makes the words in Frosts poem flow better and roll off the tongue easier, emphasizing the visual imagery described. Rhyming the words “claim, same” in the second stanza helps show how Frost describes how the paths are walked on the same amount, even though each traveler that passes through claims a different path than anyone else. Emphasizing the visual imagery through rhyming words increases the readers ability to comprehend the ideas being conveyed and helps the reader understand the true connotation, while all along keeping them engaged.
The poem is about the importance of choices. It begins with the speaker regretting that he could not have been two people, so he could have at some point in his life taken two roads instead of being limited to one. He looked as far as he could to see what was ahead on one of the roads he could have taken, but he was limited to seeing only as far as where it turned and disappeared in the bushes. In the second stanza he says he took the other road because it was grassy and was possibly better because it was less traveled, though not much more than the other road. The third stanza says both roads were covered in leaves and that they had been walked on so rarely, that the leaves covering them had not been made black from walking feet. He also says he continued on the road he chose because he knew that one thing leads to another “way leads on to way” and he doubted he would ever return to this part of the road. Finally, he says he will tell the story when he is much older “Somewhere ages and ages hence” that he had the choice of taking one road over another and having taken the one he did — made a huge difference in his life.
One element used to add to the theme of the poem is vocabulary through the use of color. It is a yellow wood described, not green, which suggests it is fall, the season when leaves change colors. Seasons are frequently associated with periods in people’s lives, such as spring for youth, and autumn for late middle age. So, this is the “fall” of his life, or possibly around middle age. Therefore, he is a speaker who has had enough experiences to realize how important some decisions can be and that he must live with the consequences. The speaker also says the leaves are not “trodden black” which would represent heavy traffic and much time spent traveling.
The most crucial trait related to the theme is the metaphorical language where Frost compares roads to optional courses people can take in their lives. By the speaker saying he regrets only being able to take one “road”, he means he does not have the chance to take several directions in life at one time to see how each will work out. Since he cannot look ahead to see where each choice might lead, he must choose one and see where it will take him and what other choices will follow on that road. One thing the speaker knows is the choice is not to be taken lightly because it could be the difference between two very different life experiences “And that has made all the difference”.
Frost’s use of metaphor is effective in him presenting his theme. Even if readers did not know that “road” was being used metaphorically, they would still know the poem is about a man making a choice. Using the idea of roads is something we can relate to because we have all come to two roads and have been uncertain about which way to turn. Sometimes we have turned and found that it was the wrong way and that has cost us time, made us late, or lead us somewhere we did not want to go. We can see how even relatively insignificant decisions alter our lives.
“The Road Not Taken” is a peaceful and thought-inspiring poem. It is peaceful because Frost keeps the tone and mood light though it is about a very serious subject. Reading it can also make one think more consciously about future decisions and their potential consequences. Reading this poem was like taking a little side road — It can make a difference.
Frost uses a common experience to which we can all relate — making a choice at the fork of two roads — in order to show that a decision will lead us in one direction and by making the choice to go in that direction can make a profound difference in our lives.


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