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Theme of Choices in The Road not Taken by Robert Frost

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Have you ever asked yourself ‘Did I make the right choice?’. Most of us have faced a situation in which we have to choose important decision in our life. The poem, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost states that in life we come upon many decisions, and we have to take the right one by letting the fate to take the lead. “The Road Not Taken” describes two paths as a symbol of our life decisions. Robert Frost wrote this poem to his friend Edward Thomas, an English-Welsh poet, which when they were walking in forest in England Thomas would often regret not having taken a different path. While they were walking, they arrives at a fork in the road and hesitates while deciding which path to take. While the decision seems important and irreversible “I doubted if I should ever come back”, he realizes at the end that the two paths are essentially similar. He ends the poem in an ironic sigh, “I shall be telling this with a sigh”. Frost believes no matter which road you take, you’ll always regret and wish you’d taken another. This poem has gorgeous theme, which is “Persisting on your choice, is better than regretting your decision” and it consist of four quatrain stanzas. Also, what makes Frost’s poem unique is its elements which this essay is going to take an observation about tow strongest elements which are the tone (meditative tone) and figure of speech.

One of the best points to start a close analysis of a poem is often with the title, and with Frost’s poem this old piece of advice is truer than with most poems. the poem is titled ‘The Road Not Taken’, and not ‘The Road Less Travelled’ passed in the literal meaning of the poem “Because it was grassy and wanted wear”. In other words, Frost’s poem is about the path that he didn’t take not apparently the less traveled one that he did which this small difference lead us to the central message of the poem. The main theme of “The road not taken” poem is “Persisting on your choice, is better than regretting your decision”. It is often impossible to see where our life-altering decision will lead us because we can’t see the future’s results. Based on that we should make our decision in the life swiftly and with confidence. It is normal to think carefully and attentively before making any decision in the life, but it is erroneous to contemplate on this hypothetical deeply. In another word, continuing to improve yourself in decision you have made, is better than wasting your strength in regretting your choice. So that the roles of the life which every decision we made has its own advantages and obstacles. As a result, “Persisting on your choice, is better than regretting your decision”.

This poem consists of four stanzas, each stanzas has five lines in length. It has a mix of iambic and anapaestic tetrameter, producing a steady rhythmical four beat first-person narrative. Also, the rhyme scheme is a,b,a,a,b c,d,c,c,d … . Frost chose his lines to reflect most common speech in normal which is a combination of iambs and anapests:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both.

The traditional rhyme scheme that it has A,B,A,A,B causes the poem to slow and gives readers a feeling of deliberation when reading the poem and it helps to keep the lines tight. The rhythm, pattern of sound, and rhyme scheme makes the poem looks symmetrical. As a result, this poetry is a closed form type. final observation is that the poem has a simple clear vocabulary because it talks about an extended metaphor for the life; the road is life, and it diverges, and there is a decision to be made and a life will be changed which leads to the next point that the essay will talk about.

What makes Frost’s story unique is the perfection and the magnificence in its elements. “The Road Not Taken” poem focuses on the idea of having choices in life. The poem uses a first person narrator who finds himself on a fall morning in the woods which person comes to a fork in the road splitting in two directions. The narrator examines both roads and has to decide which way to go as a metaphor for our life decisions. So, the tone is meditative which the narrator stands looking at the two options that he has, he tries to find out the pros and cons in a quiet, and studied manner “And be one traveler, long I stood…And looked down one as far as I could”. As a result from narrator meditation towards a fork in the road is that he prefers the road less traveled “because it was grassy and wanted wear’. At the end he realized that both roads are similar and it is not matter which decision to choose but to continue persistent in what you are doing. Another magnificent elements in Frost poem is the figurative language. Frost uses the road as a metaphor for the life. He portrays our lives as a roads that we are walking along toward an undetermined destination and unknown result which represents the destiny. Then, the speaker reaches a fork in the road which represents the time that you have to choose your decisions in the life “And sorry I could not travel both”, such as starting to study or getting married, and having a job or creating own business.

To conclude, the life is full of choices which will define our destinies. In The Road Not Taken the speaker spends a while deliberating when he comes to a fork in the road, which symbolizes a choice that we must make in our life. Ultimately, we have to make some decision in our life, but we will spend the rest of the life haunted by, or simply curious about, what could have happened if chose the other path. The choice that we made ‘has made all the difference’ in our life. Whether this is for better or for worse, but what matters is to keep moving in our life without making ourselves suffering from regretting our choices.   

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Theme Of Choices In The Road Not Taken By Robert Frost. (2022, February 10). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 29, 2022, from
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