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Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Road Not Taken


Robert Frost’s poems are  very interesting as they touch the nature revealing an appealing atmosphere and inviting comfort .  The Road not taken is of his poems which have themes that are related to us..... as we walk on the pathway of our lives.
Synopsis:
This poem is about the poet who is enjoying his walk in the woods. He came to a point where the road branched into two. He had to make a choice to choose which road to travel, so he stood there wondering which one to take. Then , he decided to choose the less travelled one. He hopes that he can return on the other day and explore the other road.  However, he did not get the chance to do so as the road he choose took him further and further in life. After many years, he looked back and ponders about his decision he had made many years ago. The choice he had made many years ago have brought a great influence upon his life(shaped his life) and eventually making him the man he is today.






Setting
It is autumn season and the leaves are changing colour (yellow). As we know autumn period of life is reflecting  the late middle age of life. Besides that it happens  in a lonely forest/woods in the countryside  one early morning. There are two roads running through the forest. At the beginning of the poem the persona is still young (flashback) and he has become much older when it reaches  the last stanza.

Themes
There are a few interesting themes:
o   The need to make choices in life
o   We have to choose between two equally good option wisely
o   The choice may make all the difference in our lives
o   As human beings, we most probably look back , wonder and regret that we are unable to choose both the options or choose the other option. (regret/sadness)
o   So, choose wisely and accept the challenges and consequences of the choice. Be bold, creative, original and adventurous in taking up challenges few people choose.  Be brave to explore the opportunities and possibilities that we face along the road we have chosen.  (satisfied/happiness)

Moral Values:
And below are the moral values that we can draw lessons from:
o   We have to take the opportunities that life has to offer us to make a choice
o   Think carefully before we make choices
o   We have to make the right choice and understand ourselves
o   Should not have the feeling of regret for our choice
o   If we make the right choice, we can have a contended life
o   Appreciate the beauty of nature

Tone: (poet’s attitude)
The tone of this poem are conversational, reflective, rich in wisdom, quiet, firm. From line 13 onwards= note of regret and in the end =satisfied

Mood:(inner feeling of the persona)
The mood of the poem shows  thoughtful and contemplative

Atmosphere :( external feeling of the happening)
The atmosphere reflects  loneliness and also  nostalgic

Below I extract some poetic devices  and figurative language used in the poem:
Poetic Devices
1.       Imagery
o   Lone traveller
o   Life as a journey (full of paths to explore)
o   Wood in the autumn (yellow)
o   Road (one is grassy & more appealing that the other
2.       Symbol
o   Yellow wood = represents life/ the maturity or mellowing of the individual
o   Yellow leaves= represents the rich experiences that life has to offer
o   In leaves no step had trodden black= shows that the leaves were not walked upon by anyone/the path is unexplored
o   Diverging road= symbolizes  two options that appear equally good
o   Journey along one of the road= symbolic of the journey one takes through life

 Figurative Language
o   Metaphor
        I.  The road is a metaphor for the journey of life
      II.  The two roads is compared to the two choices in life
    III.  The poet compares himself to a traveler
    IV.   The undergrowth at the end of one of the roads is the obstacles and challenges/ it is also hard to see what the future held for him
      V.  The grass on one of the roads had hardly been stepped on, it means not many people had chosen that kind of life
o   personification
        I.  the road= the choice in life

 The Road Not Taken

 
TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;        5
 
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,        10
 
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.        15
 
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.