Literary Analysis – the Road Not Taken

Literary Analysis – The Road Not Taken Shannon Eads Carradine ENG 125 Instructor Allen March 11, 2013 Choices. Each and every one of us makes choices in our everyday life. We may not always make the right choice, but we learn and grow from the wrong ones. That is what life is all about; choices. In Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken, he reflects on life’s choices. “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both/And be one traveler, long I stood” (Clugston, 2010).
I am very familiar with this poem; one that I have known since childhood. I did not know it at the time what my great-grandmother was trying to express to me about this poem, but as I aged it became more and more apparent to me; she was trying to teach me about life and making the right choices. The tone of this poem is of ambiguous deliberation; meaning that the speaker (persona) is deep in thought pondering on which path he or she should take and whether or not it is and will be the right path.
The tone really sets the mood right from the beginning and flows well until the last stanza when it states: “I shall be telling this with a sigh” (Clugston, 2010). Although the speaker (persona) will be sighing when he or she tells the story of this important life decision, it is not a sigh of regret; it is a sigh of happiness. Although my great-grandmother read this poem to me in my childhood years, I have never actually read the poem myself. I was amazed at how this poem kept me intrigued and wanting to read it. This is very hard for me to do; wanting to read.

So, I will say it did its job, so to speak. Frost starts the poem with: “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood” (Clugston, 2010). The two roads diverged symbolizes there are two different choices or paths; while in a yellow wood symbolizes the aging of the person. With that being said, taking the one less traveled by means that the speaker (persona) chose the best path for him or her at that time in their life. For it states in the poem: “And that has made all the difference” (Clugston, 2010) leads me to believe that he did indeed choose he right path for him or herself. The second stanza of this poem is full of contradiction. If one is just as fair as the other then how can one be a better claim than the other? And if both paths have been worn about the same, then why was the “better claimed” path grassy and in need of wear? Then again in the first line of the third stanza states: “And both that morning equally lay” (Clugston, 2010). This was very confusing to me because I could not figure out the concept of that idea and why the contradiction.
It is almost as if the speaker (persona) is weighing his or her options and having problems in choosing a path. Although my great-grandmother read this poem to me in my childhood years, I have never actually read the poem myself. I was amazed at how this poem kept me intrigued and wanting to read it. This is very hard for me to do; wanting to read. So, I will say it did its job, so to speak. I believe I may have a whole new outlook on reading and may be able to let myself go on a journey inside some form of literature; more than music or television. I love this poem!
It has the feeling of great knowledge; when we choose the right path in life, we will live in happiness. I often set back and reflect on all of the choices I have made in my life, but still wonder sometimes if it was the right choice for me at that particular moment. I believe we all, at some point in our life, ponder on that imaginative question, “What if? ” Life is all about choices and making the right choice does make all the difference. Reference: Clugston, R. W. (2010). Journey Into Literature. Bridgepoint Education Inc. , San Diego, CA: Retrieved from content. ashford. edu

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