Frost's "The Road Not Taken" Poem Review by Jay Writtings LLC

Frost's "The Road Not Taken"
A detailed analysis of Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken," focusing on the uncertainty, regret and dishonesty of the speaker in the poem.
# 118714 | 1,291 words | 0 sources | 2010 | US
Published on Feb 18, 2010 in Literature (American) , Literature (Poetry)

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This paper examines the 1916 poem "The Road Not Taken," by Robert Frost, arguing that it may be one of the most frequently misinterpreted works of modern times, in particular, with respect to the connotations attached to the words "the road less traveled." The writer analyzes the poem's form, meter and the literary devices and explains how paying attention to the verb tenses and word choices helps to clarify the meaning of the poem. The writer shows how Frost evokes the speaker's feelings of uncertainty and regret, and how cunningly Frost keeps hidden which road was actually taken. This emphasizes that the actual choice is less important than the fact that the speaker would not have been satisfied, regardless of which road was chosen. The paper concludes that, considering the speaker's indecisiveness, it is improbable that Frost's intent in this poem is to commend not choosing the paths the majority would. More likely, Frost is simply sharing the well-known truth that making choices is inevitable, difficult, and necessitates compromise.

From the Paper:

"Frost's use of color in the poem helps maintain a calm, even melancholy mood throughout the poem. The wood at the beginning of the poem is described as yellow, and the color would mean that it is autumn, a season associated with feelings of sadness and gloominess. Having such feelings associated with making choices supports the idea that the speaker was much younger when he was at that bifurcation--younger people like to try everything without having to compromise anything. The reader can see this in the same part of the poem (first stanza) where he or she learns about the yellow color of the wood: "And sorry I could not travel both / And be one traveler, long I stood.""

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