Choice: An Analysis of The Road Not Taken Essay
The Road Not Taken (1916) tells of someone faced with two of lifes decisions however only one can be chosen. Whichever road is taken will be final and will determine the direction that their life takes. Frost drives this poem by a calm and collective narrative, spoken by the traveler of the diverged roads. Who is speaking with himself trying to convince himself of which road is the better choice. Frost wrote this poem using standard, modern language.
In line one Frost introduces the diverging roads, which are his main metaphors.
Diverging being the key word in this line because it suggests that the traveler must make a choice. Line two the speaker expresses his grief of not being able to travel both. Yet, the choice is not easy, since long I stood (1.3) before coming to a decision. The next two lines examines the path as best as he can, but his vision is limited because the path bends and is covered over.
This indicates that the speaker would like to know more about this road but is prevented by the immediate environment. Six through eight seems to be suggesting that the second path mentioned is a more attractive choice because it appears to have not been traveled recently. However, he seems to contradict himself since he also describes the path as being just as fair as the first rather than better. Although the poet breaks after line ten, the main idea continues into the third stanza, creating a link between these parts of the poem. Here the speaker states that the paths are really about the same.(2.
10). Neither path has recently been traveled, although he is searching fro a clear logical reason to decide one path over the other, he cannot find a suitable reason. Lines 13 15 the speaker makes his decision, he tries to persuade himself that he could take both paths but manages to simultaneously admit that such a hope is unrealistic. The exclamation point after line 13 conveys excitement, but that excitement is severed by his admission in the following lines. way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back(3.14,15).
In the final stanza, lines 16-20 the tone of the poem changes completely. This is the only stanza that begins with a new sentence, indicating that it is a stronger break from the previous ideas. The speaker puts himself in a future situation discussing his life. What he states here seems to contradict what he has said earlier. From his future prospective he says that the paths where different and that he did not choose the one most traveled by. Perhaps he will in the future actually believe this and he only wishes that he could choose in the present the one less traveled by.
The Road Not Taken was structured by Frost to form four quintains. The majority of the lines contain nine syllables. This structure is maintained through out the poem. The stanzas are arranged like that of a thought. One continues to undermine the other, much like decision making.
Our first thoughts are always second-guessed by our second and so forth until we make our final decision, which cancels out all that was thought before. This is what Frost manages to do in the arrangement of his stanzas.
Imagery is the primary concept of this work. The two roads are each described in such a way that the reader can easy picture the dilemma faced by the traveler. Image is so precise that we can picture the first road bending to the right while the other bends in the opposite direction. The image of one being grassy and wanting wear(2.
8) seems to maintain in the readers mind even after it is mentioned that they appear just the same. Imagery is the means used by Frost to convey the poems message.
The Road Not Taken, follows an a,b,a,a,b rhyme patter which is consistent through out the poem. Its nine syllables make up an iambic tetrameter, which is not consistent but is the overbearing meter at work. In line 22 repetition is used which stresses the word ages. This is to suggest .