Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

In The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost, a man is at a fork in the road and is stuck. He has no idea which road to pick, and finds himself in quite the dilemma as he weighs the observations of the two paths in front of him. At first glance, this is the typical cliché dilemma: you have a decision to make, but you do not know which one is right. But in this poem by Robert Frost, the structure of the four-stanza piece shows that the decision is not always just right and wrong, but quite complex and intricate.

In the first stanza, Frost’s poem is very simple as the speaker says that “two roads diverged in a yellow wood”, a typical cliché fork in the road that everyone has related to a hard decision once in their life. But then the speaker pauses in the second stanza and thinks about the options; he claims that both of the paths are relatively similar, “the passing there/ Had worn them really about the same”, showing that there really is not anything more right or wrong with either path. As Frost’s poem enters the third stanza, the speaker begins to arise at a decision, but yet he still seems indecisive about the decision of the road not taken, claiming he will keep “the first for another day”, which shows that he may return to the alternate path again someday. By the fourth stanza, Frost’s poem not only gets complex, but gets conflicting. He uses different tenses to explain his reflection on his decision, using “shall be telling” and “has made” in the same stanza. Frost’s confusion leads one to think that maybe the reader as well as the speaker does not know whether this decision has already been made or if it is going to be made soon. The speaker has broke conformity, and while he feels it is the right decision, he still has no idea whether the decision was right until the final line, when he ends the poem saying that it “has made all the difference”. I believe that Frost wants to show that everyone has a fork in the road, and while the decision can be hard to make, being unlike the others and taking the road seldom taken always holds the greatest potential.

No comments:

Post a Comment