“The Road Not Taken”

“The Road not Taken” by Robert Frost

The Road not Taken is a poem that offers a great lesson on how to go about the choices we make in our lives and their consequences. The speaker in the poem was traveling in the forest when he met a diversion in his way and he spent some time arguing out on which way to follow (Collins, 2003). The speaker has generously invested in imagery, and symbolism in his poem. He uses the two roads in the woods to represent and bring out a life situation where one has to make choices wisely since they greatly contribute to/ affect his own life. The speaker is trying to envisage the ordinary by using irony in most of his words; for instance, a good example is when he says: “I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence” (Rothenberg, 2009).

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The main theme in The Road Not Taken is the facet of choices that we make in our lives. From the speaker’s perception as well as the unembellished knowledge that we gain from the poem, we can make out that the destination and episodes taking part in our lives are highly determined by the choices we make. The speaker, who was traveling in the woods reached a diversion and had to make a choice of the way to follow. Obviously, he could not take the two roads at the same time. He had to stop and decide on which one to follow but the choice was very difficult as the two roads were equally used by the travelers passing through those woods. Despite having a difficult time choosing the right way, in the end, he managed to take one which he believed to be better than the other, he chose to travel on one and this choice changed his life. Literally, these two ways represent a certain episode that is happening in the speaker’s life, he reaches a point where he needs to make a choice. The choices he has to make are not easy at all as they highly determine the way his life will be.

The speaker in this poem was also very keen when planning on his journey. He has taken enough time to analyze and examine the roads which he was supposed to travel on (Collins, 2003). “And looked down one as far as I could, to where it bent in the undergrowth’’ this quote clearly proves that the speaker wanted to know what one road held for him that the other did not. Despite the fact that he could not see far and deep into the road, he managed to analyze and make a good choice for his life. “Oh, I kept the first for another day! ’’ this sentence also shows that he chose to travel on the second road hoping that the next time he traveled on the same road he would take the first. He thought and hoped that the second road looked much pleasant than the first one, thus trusted it to be more secure and safe.

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The poem has been set in a manner that the whole plot takes place in the forest. The two ways are diverting at a place whereby the woods are yellow in color and the leaves from the trees have fallen down and turned their color from green to yellow. The falling leaves represent the times when we had to leave behind certain negative things in life so to be left with the good things that make our lives worthwhile. From the speaker, we can contend that the first road looked much prettier compared to the second one but he chooses to travel on the second one despite it being grassy (Rothenberg, 2009). This shows us that, there are times in life when the beauty and pleasure received from some things do not count when making life decisions. The setting is very preferable and moreover so essential to this poem since the yellow color, the two diverting ways and the choices that the traveler had to make in his journey clearly bring out the intended meaning.

The Road not Taken is a poem that has rather been set carrying a more literal meaning than a personal meaning. The roads described in the poem are one aspect of literacy. They split in a yellow wood. This shows that it was during the autumn season when the green leaves on the trees turn yellow and drop on the ground forming a layer. The speaker was forced to take one road and hoped to come back another day and pass through the other. This situation showed that there were certain things that were happening in the speaker’s life that forced him to make some choices which were crucial since they determined his destiny. The dropping leaves and changing trees represented the change that would be experienced in the life of the speaker after makes his choices. He has to shed off some of the things and go through the difficulties he had in life so as to achieve the goals he made.

The title, The Road Not Taken, is significant as it helps one to interpret the poem. The name represents the road that hadn’t been used for long which could be compared to the long lost opportunities or the precious moments that only come once in a lifetime. The title also reflects the intricacy people face when making some decisions.

The speaker has richly invested in imagery, symbolism in his poem. He uses the two roads in the woods to represent a life situation when one has to make choices wisely since they will greatly influence his own life.


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