The Road Not Taken: Poetry Analysis

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In this poem, Frost presents a speaker who has an internal conflict on which of the two roads he or she should take. The Road Not Taken dramatizes the conflict between choosing which road to travel and which to leave behind. When making choices it is often impossible to see where a life-altering decision will lead. (Rizzoli) One should make the decision swiftly and most importantly, with confidence. Life always presents us with choices, but when making a choice it is more than that, the choice becomes a decision. Frost mastered the idea of ambiguity since he never indicates whether the choice the speaker made was the right one or not.

The form of a poem gives it structure. Form can be one of the toughest elements to identify when doing an analysis. A poem's form is basically how it looks and sounds. (Rizzoli) The Road Not Taken is a simple-looking poem that consists of four stanzas of five lines. Rhyme schemes almost make up the form of a poem and in this case the scheme is ABAAB. The rhyme of a poem could be described as a pattern of rhyming sounds, while the rhyme scheme is the recurrence of similar-sounding words at the end of a line. For example: (A) Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, (B) And sorry I could not travel both, (A) And be one traveler, long I stood, (A) And looked down one as far as I could, (B) To where it bent in the undergrowth. (Frost)

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The backbone of any story is the theme. The theme is the underlying message of what the character ultimately realizes. (Deen) Themes bring depth and consistency to any form of writing and themes make it easier for the reader to follow. Robert Frost presents a theme about choices and how a person is defined by said choices. The speaker is confronted with the fork in the road and must make a choice. One choice would lead the speaker down a path that was “grassy and wanted wear” as to where to other path was “more worn by passersby.” (Frost) The narrator must be content with his choice because there is no going back to change his mind. This theme resonates with society today because no matter of what our choices and decisions are, we must live with that decision and take ownership of the consequences.

Imagery is very important in The Road Not Taken because the narrator is describing the setting for most of the poem. Imagery is mostly visual however there is also a little bit of auditory imagery when the speaker sighs. (Deen) The paths that divide in the forest are portrayed as grassy, fair, and about equally worn. The imagery gives a lot to the meaning to the poem because, without the description of nature and its paths, it wouldn't make sense that the narrator was wavering about choosing a certain path.

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