an analysis of Robert Frost's " The road not taken"

Essay by keith steinacherCollege, UndergraduateA+, March 1997

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'Do not follow where the path may lead... Go instead where there is no

path and leave a trail.'

-Robert Frost

Everyone is a traveler, choosing the roads to follow on the map

of their continuous journey, life. There is never a straight path that

leaves one with but a sole direction in which to head. Regardless of the

original message that Robert Frost had intended to convey, his poem,

'The Road Not Taken', has left its readers with many different

interpretations. It is one's past, present and the attitude with which

he looks upon his future that determines the shade of the light that he

will see the poem in. In any case however, this poem clearly

demonstrates Frost's belief that it is the road that one chooses that

makes him the man who he is.

'And sorry I could not travel both...' It is always difficult to

make a decision because it is impossible not to wonder about the

opportunity cost, what will be missed out on.

There is a strong sense of

regret before the choice is even made and it lies in the knowledge that

in one lifetime, it is impossible to travel down every path. In an

attempt to make a decision, the traveler 'looks down one as far as I

could'. The road that will be chosen leads to the unknown, as does any

choice in life. As much he may strain his eyes to see as far the road

stretches, eventually it surpasses his vision and he can never see where

it is going to lead. It is the way that he chooses here that sets him

off on his journey and decides where he is going.

'Then took the other, just as fair, and having perhaps the

better claim.' What...