In Robert Frost’s piece “ The Road Not Taken” I feel that Frost is mocking human nature for being indecisive and eternally unsatisfied with the choices we have made in our lives; we are people always suffering from regrets and the cliche “the grass is greener on the other side” mentality. The poem begins with the speaker stating his regrets that he cannot venture down both roads to see which one will prove a more enjoyable journey. His exact sentiments are in lines 2 and 3 “And sorry, I could not travel both- and be one traveler, long I stood-” . He goes on to show his struggle with indecision when making his final choice as he contradicts himself in lines 8 through 10 “Because it was grassy and wanted wear, Though as for that, the passing there, had worn them really about the same.” This quotation also clarifies that both paths presented have been equally traveled.
Frost’s speaker then goes on to exclaim “Oh. I kept the first one for another day!” telling us of his desire to return and live his life in it’s entirety by eventually traveling down the other path. He then illustrates again his indecision and regret while contradicting himself when saying “ Yet knowing how way leads on to way I doubted if I shall ever come back.” At this point, I shall presume that Frost is speaking of choices such as marriage and family life versus leading a life of travel and leisure. Those are the two most recognizable paths presented in our culture.
The last stanza is greeted with a sigh. Traditionally a sigh is a sign of exhaust and disappointment. At this point in the journey with our speaker, it is felt that the journey is over and being reflected upon with a sigh, as he is about to dispense his wisdom. But reading it literally, the character is speaking of his future. Again here we see a contradiction. We are left undecided if the speaker has already ventured through his life or if he about to begin his journey upon the road less traveled ( with seemingly stronger convictions.) I strongly feel that the last two lines of this poem ooze sarcasm. It reads “I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” Despite the American culture’s interpretation and then desire to embrace these last words, Frost is just stating a rhetorical thought. Since we concluded early on that both roads were equally worn, he doesn’t know if he truly chose the road less traveled. It is our immediate need to turn the statement “ And that has made all the difference” into a positive one. But does the speaker know what the difference was, if he never had the opportunity to travel the other road? I see these last two lines as the speaker’s attempt to mock himself for his petty desires, indecisions and regrets. And in a way he manages to mock our entire culture for translating and embracing these words as we have.