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Interpretation of Poem “the Road Not Taken” – Robert Frost

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Written in 1915 in England, "The Road Not Taken" is one of Robert Frost's—and the world's—most well-known poems. Although commonly interpreted as a celebration of rugged individualism, the poem actually contains multiple different meanings.

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The poem, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost states that in life we come upon many decisions, and there are points where we have to let fate take the lead. “The Road Not Taken” uses two paths as a symbol of a life decision. To understand this poem you have to have understanding of life’s meaning. The author helps us better understand the message by his use of tone and literary devices such as metaphors and symbolism

In this poem we come to realize that life is a combination of decisions and fate. The two paths symbolize the life of the traveler and all his life decisions. This poem expresses life, because in life, there are important decisions that in some instances can make a really big change, sometimes it’s hard to find your way out of something, and there are many possible ways you can do it. “Then took the other, as just as fair, and having perhaps the better claim” are verses where we can clearly see that this is a decision in to which he is putting a lot of thought. Throughout the poem, we learn that there are two paths to take, but the traveler, who we suppose is Robert Frost, is uncertain of which one to take.

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Literally, "The Road Not Taken" tells the story of a man who reaches a fork in the road, and randomly chooses to take one and not the other. The road, itself, symbolizes the journey of life, and the image of a road forking off into two paths symbolizes a choice. As for color, Frost describes the forest as a "yellow wood." (The Hand of the Poet, 1997) Yellow can be considered a middle color, something in-between and unsure of itself. This sets the mood of indecision that characterizes the language of the poem. Frost also mentions the color black in the lines: And both the morning equally lay, In leaves no step had trodden black. Clearly, this is to emphasize that both roads appeared untouched, not having been tarnished by the foot of a previous traveler

(Norton Anthology of Poetry, 2005).The poet is the first to encounter this dilemma. In "The Road Not Taken," Frost does not indicate whether the road he chose was the right one. Nonetheless, that is the way he is going now, and the place he ends up, for better or worse, was the result of his decision.

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In either case, the speaker stands in the woods, considering a fork in the road. Both ways are equally worn and equally overlaid with un-trodden leaves. The speaker chooses one, telling himself that he will take the other another day. Yet he knows it is unlikely that he will have the opportunity to do so

And he admits that someday in the future he will recreate the scene with a slight twist: He will claim that he took the less-traveled road.

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Norton Anthology of Poetry, 2005, Norton.

The Hand of the Poet, 1997, Rizzoli.

100 Essential Modern Poems, 2005, Ivan Dee.

Hollis, Matthew (2011-07-29). "Edward Thomas, Robert Frost and the road to war". The Guardian. London.

White, James Boyd (2009). Living Speech: Resisting the Empire of Force. Princeton University Press. p. 98

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