The Road Not Taken
Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken focuses on the indecisiveness that life’s choices tend to impart in everyday life. In the initial stanza, the author reaches a wooded area that has two distinct paths leading to it. In his solitary travel, the author has to make a decision regarding the road to follow. The imagery used in this stanza served to amplify the hesitancy of the writer as he shifts between the two paths as he tries to peer down the paths as far as the human eye could meet. I was impressed by the great choices of words and rationality in the stanza as they enhance the writer’s hesitation; “long I stood” (Frost 3) an indication of the time and thought taken before the realization of the final decision.
In the second stanza, the author reveals that he opts for the path that “was grassy and wanted wear” (Frost 8). The use of personification as the path is attributed the element of desire infuses an emotion that justifies the author’s choice as being supported by his remorse upon seeing the neglect that the path has been accorded. However, upon the commencement of the journey, he discovers that both paths “had worn…about the same” (Frost 9). This creates rising action as fresh doubts arise as to the credibility of his resolution; perhaps the other path should have been the better choice, a typical recreation of the decision process in my life. The third stanza echoes the doubts, which are the main constituent to today’s failures as the traveler settles in his mind that upon meeting failure, he would keep “the first for another day!” (Frost 13). In other words, he would go back to the initial path and undertake it to test whether it would have made a better solution.
However, with the time constraint that we all face, the writer distrusts that he will ever have the opportunity to tread on the left path. The conclusive stanza is intricate than the preceding three as the reader is left to offer a subjective conclusion to the poem. From a subjective perspective, this marked the climaxing point as noted by the term ‘sigh’, which either may mean relief or lament (Frost 16). In the instance of the first situation, a happy conclusion would be created as the story is recounted while an inverse situation would result upon the latter view and the ending would be a bitter one.
I was thrilled by this dual presentation of life as it evidenced the risk and speculation that I have faced while striving for a good decision in various situations. The timelessness in the poem was captivating to me, as I have realized that as the traveler progressed in his journey, he moves from an easy to an intricate situation in which the choice is made. With maturity, the nature of decisions tends to become more intricate and it therefore pays to be open minded in that a good or bad choice can be made at the given instance. This is what shapes healthy experiences in life.
Frost, Robert. The Road Not Taken, Birches, and Other Poems. Gallup: Coyote Canyon Press, 2010. Print.