English 1121 (Prof. Scanlan)
April 15, 2020
Life Within “The Road Not Taken”
The poem, “The Road Not Taken,” by Robert Frost, illustrates life and the choices we make in them. Everyday, a decision is made. Whether it be a good decision or a bad decision, the decision made will affect one’s life moving forward. Take notice of the title of the poem, it says, “The Road Not Taken,” keyword “Not.” It doesn’t say the road that is taken. The speaker and as well, the reader, can be at a questioning of, what if? The first two lines that start the poem, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood/And sorry I could not travel both,” impacts the rest of where the poem is going to go. Throughout each stanza of the poem, the denotation and connotation of words within the lines filled with the use of metaphors and symbols allows us to fulfill the true meaning and theme of the poem.
In the first line, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,” the speaker has two choices and can only pick one. These two roads are an indication of two different life paths. The yellow wood is a metaphor of the setting, the season is currently Fall. The season in which the leaves fall, the colors change, as well as the weather. The season of change. Yellow would be the season and wood itself is representing life. The road symbolizes the journey of life. Either one of these paths could potentially affect the speakers life in a positive or negative way. With just that line alone, the reader can connect with the speaker. In life, there’s typically two choices to make, the easy or hard one. Which I feel these roads represent in some way. They’re obviously going to lead to two different destinations but which one will be worth the walk?
In the second line, “And sorry I could not travel both,” the speaker couldn’t pick both paths of life to explore. The desire the speaker had to begin with, having two roads in front of him/her with different possibilities of life knowing they couldn’t have it all. Emphasizing the word sorry in the line could sound like possible regret. The fact of having more than one option can create curiosity of once again, what if.
When both lines combine, it sets the whole tone of the poem. It allows the reader to grasp the true meaning and theme that Robert Frost wants the readers to understand. The metaphors and symbolism within the poem sets the point across. In life, a decision has to be made. The decision must be made thoroughly as any decision is made. At the end of the poem, the speaker makes it clear to which road was chosen, “the one less traveled by.” The speaker didn’t share whether or not the “the one less traveled by” was the right choice. As the reader, it can create curiosity as it would in one’s own shoes.