"Road Not Taken" Literary Analysis

Robert Frost is the most powerful and passionate poet America has ever produced. Moreover, his love of nature is so deep that he is tempted neither to paint pretty pictures of it nor to read into it an animism that he does not find. With this being said, Robert Frost uses a philosophy of common-sense throughout his poems in that several of his concepts derive from personal experience and this is why when reading a poem by Robert Frost one might conclude that they seem personal and objective.

Furthermore, his poems are human, conversational, humorous, and romantic.

More importantly, truth is often hidden in a paradox throughout each poem and each one carries a different symbolic importance. Therefore, in his poem, “The Road Not Taken,” Frost tries to tell the reader that, we, as human beings, sometimes have to assume and make a decision based on the way we feel. Thus, these decisions are decided based on our own personal intuitions and not of those of another.

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Moreover, Frost uses words that carry weight and importance behind them to help explain the moral of the poem.

With this being said, there are several elements used throughout Frost’s poem and we see them spread out through each strophe. As we see in the first strophe, Frost provides the reader with a clear description of the current problem at hand for the traveler. In fact, Frost made it a point for the traveler to arrive at the intersection where the two roads diverged in either direction, but unfortunately, the traveler does not have the opportunity to be everywhere at one and he cannot travel down these two roads at the same time; therefore, the traveler has to decide which road to travel.

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Uniquely, this is an example of imagery because when Frost quoted that the “two roads diverged in a yellow wood,” Frost was providing the reader with an image of the traveler and the current situation he was in. As we continue to read the poem, strophe two describes to the reader that the traveler has made his decision based upon his own personal intuitions; as well as, the way he feels.

Moreover, in strophe three, Frost provides the reader with an insight on how the decision was so difficult for the traveler to make; therefore, when Frost quoted that, “both that morning equally lay in leaves no step has trodden black,” he was describing to the reader that the decision was hard to make because the traveler had no one to help him make an enlightened choice. Furthermore, in this strophe we also see that the road represents symbolism because the traveler had to make an important decision in his life in order to move forward and continue on his journey.

Finally, in the last strophe, Frost was explaining to the reader that the traveler was not wrong for making the decision that he did nor did the traveler have any regrets about it. What is unique about this strophe is that Frost used the word “onomatopoeia” which means sigh and the word sigh emphasized that the traveler felt depressed or sad based upon the decision that he had made, but the decision made by the traveler in the end turned out to be the one that should have been done from the beginning and in return, the traveler’s decision took less time to travel and this made all the difference to him.

As one can see, Frost uses words that carry a deep symbolic meaning and this is one of the many reasons why many of his quotes or phrases are used in many greeting cards and posters because Frost truly understands how to combine human experience with our emotions. In the end, everyone at some point in their life has to take responsibility for their choices without the help of others and sometimes we face these situations like the one Frost described in The Road Not Taken in that we have to ask ourselves if we need to follow our own intuitions or do we base our decisions off of the advice provided by another.

In this poem, Frost provided the reader with an understanding of how truly difficult our decisions are by allowing us to follow the footsteps of the traveler while making his personal decision instead of following the most recommended one. Therefore, Frost proved to the reader that although the decision was tough, in the end it all worked out for the best and that is the greatest decision one could have made. More importantly as the saying goes, “The greatest accomplishment began as a decision once made and often a difficult one. ” – Michael Rawls

Updated: Nov 01, 2022
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"Road Not Taken" Literary Analysis. (2016, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/road-not-taken-literary-analysis-new-essay

"Road Not Taken" Literary Analysis essay
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