The Road Not Taken

Categories: The Road

Life is full of choices and decisions that could ultimately change the outcome of our lives. In the poem, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, a traveler is destined to make that decision. This traveler man has to decide which road to take, one that is frequently traveled, and the one that is not. After contemplating which road to follow, he comes to the decision to take the road less traveled because he doesn’t want to follow in the footsteps of others.

Instead, he decides to be an individual. When coming to a fork in the road, this traveler knew he “could not travel both” (line 2).

As this man chooses the “road less traveled by,” Frost implies that this man wants to be different by demonstrating his desire to be original. (Line 19). The road frequently traveled, is a metaphor for this man’s life and what he is expected to do. He doesn’t want to take the road frequently traveled because he knows what will come of him if he does.

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This road is one which he can see down, one which he can predict the end. He knows that if he follows this road, he will end up like everyone else. This man wants to be different; he wants to travel the road less taken and wants to be different.

As the traveler begins his journey down the foreign road he says that he “doubts if [he] should ever come back”(Line 15) because he feels he can find something better down the road “less traveled” (Line 19).

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The traveler doesn’t want to return to the old conformity of his tradition by taking the road most frequently traveled. His doubts about returning home are not out of fear that he will fail, but out if assurance that he will succeed and find something better down this road not usually taken. This man knows there is something at the end of the road although he cannot see it.

Once he finds it however, he will not want to leave. Throughout his journey, the traveler explains the two roads that “diverge in a wood” (Line 18). He states that he will be “telling this with a sigh,”’ a sigh of relief, not regret (Line 16). This foreshadows to the audience that he is relieved and knows in his heart that he made the right decision. He is starting to see the end of the road and he believes in himself that he will find something better. I think this character in this poem is about the author himself, Robert Frost.

After reading his autobiography, Frost probably felt like he was traveling on the road that everyone else did because he went to school, got married, and owned a farm. Even though writing poems was his true calling or “the road not taken” for him, he worked on his farm for nine years and supported his family. As he journeyed down the frequently traveled road, he had come to the realization that his farming proved to be unsuccessful. So still on the same road, frost went back to school as an English teacher and followed the road as every one else did.

But then he came upon a fork in the road where the other road was not as traveled as much. Frost took this road and sailed his family to Great Britain and started pursuing what he loved, poetry. While traveling this road not taken in Great Britain, he published his first book on poetry. From here on out, Frost never got back on the road frequently traveled and stayed on the road not taken because for the rest of his life, he did what he loved to do which was writing poetry and teaching it. So back to the poem, Frost is actually talking about himself.

In the poem the traveler tells the audience that he broke the trend of traveling the road frequently traveled and that “has made all of the difference”. He is saying this in a good way and that he is happy that he had traveled the road not taken. He is relieved because he has broken the trend and is doing something different and is following everyone else down the same boring road. So as this man reached the fork in the road and saw these roads, one frequently traveled and one not traveled, he was faced with a decision.

This decision wasn’t just to decide where he was going that day but where he was going with his life. He ended up breaking the trend of taking a road that is constantly traveled and took the one not taken. Through this man’s eyes he feels it was the right choice for him and in the end he was happy and was doing what he loved to do, which is all that matters in life. So after reading this, one can say that the character in this poem is actually the author himself, Robert Frost, and that he traveled the road not taken.

In the poem, The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost, there is a traveler on a journey who comes to a fork in the road and is deciding which road to take. There are two roads, one that is frequently traveled, and the other that is not. As this man is stopped at this fork in the road, he ends up taking the road less traveled because he doesn’t want to follow in the footsteps of others but find something new and go somewhere where others don’t dare to.

Updated: Nov 01, 2022
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The Road Not Taken. (2017, Jan 22). Retrieved from

The Road Not Taken essay
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