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The Road Not Taken

Robert Frost

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theme and poetic devices used
Added by: Drew Hood
In this poem Robert Frost is saying that people should not always make decisions that conform to society, instead go against the flow and make choices that define a person as an individual. Symbolism plays a large part in this poem. The two roads disappearing into the woods represent the different choices people make. The speaker chooses to take the less traveled path. This is shown in lines seven and eight, “And having perhaps the better claim, Because it was grassy and wanted wear.” Alliteration is another poetic device used. In line eight, alliteration is used with the “w” sound. This sound gives a since of mystery and unknown wonders which relates back to the fact that this is the less traveled road.

If anyone has any other views or thoughts that relate to this please let me know.
Added by: jo
wow, I'm a fan of Frost, but I find this poem to be extremely dull. It is about choosing paths in life. The PATHS of life are simply represented by paths in a non convincing wood. I think all of his other poems are better where the reader is left going 'hmmm' instead of 'oh'. dont you think?...there's no question at the end. Frost does not, as he quoted he wanted to, 'send us head first into the boundless'. still, i love the debates going on.
It's still about that road Not taken
Added by: Jason H
Others have said it but few have touched on it. This poem is about regrets. Whether he wrote it about some specific person he knew is irrelevant to the overall theme.

Frost, either seriously or with a little chuckle, is poking fun at humanity because we have a tendency to look back on life and wonder "what might have been?".

I don't think Frost is telling us to make bold decisions or to stop procrastinating. If anything, he's trying to press upon us the inevitability of life and the pointlessness (that's a bit strong of a word, but good enough) of worrying about things you cannot change.
Added by: jo
Is the grass always greener? The poem says to me that it's not the path we choose through life thats important, but the fact that we always have freedom of choice.As long as we are free to choose which road to travel down we will always be wondering where the other one may have taken us.
other jo
Added by: jo1
hi other jo, i added a comment about disappointment, so there's no confusion...i totally agree with your point of view. it's a simple poem and yours is the simple explanation.
high School project ( Allegory)
Added by: Beginner
I have recently been assigned a poem in class and The Road Not Taken was the lucky winner. I've spent hours reaserching and trying to break this thing down to it's very meaning. The allegory that i have come out with is: There is a choice that must be made but what is unknown is that what paths they shall lead on to. Its like a tree, one branch leads on to another but they are all differnet. However the paths of the others are unknown, and you are left with a sense of emptyness, in the enteral strugel of the unknown. I believe when he says "I took the one less traveled by" simply means thats his way of making his choice and solving that intial strugle.

Please tell me if im correct in supporting this view (any help even in the form of criticism is appreciated)
Added by: Andrea
Mmmm... I believe this poem is about choices, thus agreeing with some of you. A choice made equals dozens, hundreds, millions, choices NOT made. And you cannot go back once you make a choice; because of this he hesitates, and attempts to foresee what awaits him on either road
"sorry I could not travel both/And be one traveler, long I stood/A looked down one as far as I could"
Yet, life does not work this way adn he is forced to make make a decision that cannot be unmade, and no matter how things turns out he will always wonder what would have happened if he'd taken the other road (don't we all?)
Added by: Paul S.
I don't think it matters what the poem "really" means. The words have no meaning in and of themselves. They are merely signs with an arbitrary relationship with that which is signified. The meaning is created in the mind of the individual reader. Therefore, any meaning that you, as a reader, assign to this poem is valid for you.

I think that is the beautify of poetry, it's subjectivity.
Added by: ben the pirate
I personally believe this poem is about choices in a sense. I think that it shows that choices must be made and though them may appear the same in the begining in the end the outcome may be different the choice sparked a final outcome. I also agree with jo on the grass is always greener thoughts.
Added by: Peter
I am 9 yrs. old and in the 5th grade. The Road Not Taken was given to me as an assignment to memorize and talk about what it means
these comments have helped me
thank you

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