Analysis of "The Road Not Taken"

Essay by trust_ur_instinctsHigh School, 10th gradeA+, May 2006

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Robert Frost's poem, "The Road Not Taken" is a poem that depicts the narrator standing in the woods. He is faced with a fork in the roads, and has to choose to travel one of them. Both of the paths are equally worn. The narrator contemplates a long time and chooses "the more traveled one", making a note to himself that he would take the other path later. Yet, he knows that the probability of that is unlikely. In the end, he concludes with a sigh that if he had the chance, he would take the less-traveled road.

This poem depicts the uncertainty when he makes decisions and the remorse he feels when he makes an irreparable wrong decision. In his poem, a traveler choosing between two roads is used to symbolize the decision making situation and the feelings he has when he makes the wrong decision.

In this poem, Robert Frost extensively uses many literary features that reflect his theme.

To "paint" a morbid and remorseful character in the poem to represent his sorrow and regret, Frost uses color words. The term "yellow wood", which is found in line one, is very suggestive about the atmosphere of the poem. Yellow wood here means that a forest is covered with yellow leaves. This is a phenomenon only seen during autumn, a time when the leaves have no more green and valor in them and start to die. This is reflective about the author's remorse about his wrong decisions and immediately sets a negative tone to the atmosphere of the poem. Another term "black", found in the second line of the third stanza also help creates the mood. Black is often stigmatized with something that is morbid and dark, and it has served its purpose well in this...