Line by Line Analysis of The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

Essay by MooDizzLeHigh School, 11th grade April 2004

download word file, 2 pages 5.0

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

The key word here is "two". Throughout our lives we constantly face decisions where we have two choices. Even when it seems there is only one choice, we can decide either to DO it, or NOT do it; so there are STILL two alternatives.

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

Then there are times we wish we could do BOTH; HAVE our cake and eat it too! We know we can't, so we must agonize over the choices; weigh the possibilities.

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

Decisions, decisions! So, what we do is come up with some justification for the choice we have made, even though we are already questioning our decision, even as we make it.

When the choices are so close to being equal, does it really make any difference? Is the fact that fewer people have done it THIS way going to give us any "edge" over the competition? Or have we just leveled the playing field?

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Is it frightening to us that few people have taken EITHER path? What unknowns lurk beyond the next bend?

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

Well, if this one doesn't work out, I'll try the other one; or maybe I'll try it one day anyway, just to...