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Analysis and comments on The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

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Comment 531 of 1111, added on March 7th, 2008 at 2:52 AM.

Forgive me if I am completely misplaced because it has been quite some
time
since I last visited American Literature--and Robert Frost.

However, I sense that many commentators here have overlooked some
revealing
and specific language Frost intentionally employed in this poem. As a
result of this oversight, these commentators have too strongly asserted
that Frost mocked romantic ideals of nastalgia and life.

Clearly, there exists a potential argument that Frost may have been
offering a caliber of criticism and satire. For example, the suggestion
that we could save the first road for another day: "Oh, I kept the first
for another day!" However, this is a flawed argument because it is
possible
to revisit a life-altering decision. In fact, many have altered the course
of their lives in midstream by revisiting decisions. To offer contemporary
example, a mother in her mid-40s earing a college degree after dropping
out
of highschool at the age of 17. Clearly, this typ of example was less
available in the 19th century, yet others examples of "second choices" did
exist--such as accumulating a fortune in ranching or mining. Still other
examples exist. Therefore, it is possible that Frost may have implicitly
offered this "Reality Americana" to reader--and not cynically dismiss the
idea that a revisiting of a life-altering decision was impossible.

Furthermore, to strongly assert that Frost is cynically criticizing those
romanic idealists who at times enjoy nastalgic recollections, or believe
they can travel 2 roads in life is misplaced. By offering this sentiment,
the argument sustains a very difficult position of explaining away Frost's
last sentence: "And that has made all the difference." Without doubt, it
is
a vulnerable argument to convey that Frost communicated cynicism and
mockery of romantic ideals when at the crescendo of his poem he produces
the most romantic of all notions--to engage in probably the most
personally
challenging of life-trajectories. According to Frost, this engagement
seemed to matter the most, and offer the greatest of sattisfaction.

To be sure, it is a difficult endeavour to explanin why Frost applied this
sentence to his peom without accepting that he was embracing a romantic
and
old American ideal of hard work, perseverance, and sattisfaction in
challenging oneself. Unless the position is advanced that Frost simply and
universally misled readers with romanic works while fevershly mocking life
and choice, it must be accepted he was celebrating the moment of
life-altering choice, and the decision to pursue the more unique life
path.
Without doubt, if the assumption that the more unique life-road is more
unique because it is more difficult, Frost is also celebrating hard work
and the decision to engage in this work

The position that Frost simply and universally misled readers with romanic
works while fevershly mocking life and choice is possible, but unlikely.
In
fact, Frost specifically reveals that he will probably never return to
this
divergence because life will not avail him the opportunity: "Yet Knowing
how way leads on to way I doubted if I should ever come back." If Frost
was
mocking life and our inability to exercise choice by offering romantic
words and notions, it is once again difficult to explain why he
specfically
indicates he will not be capable of returning to this divergence. This
specific assertion seems to suggest that he is not hiding a message--that
he is forthright and transparent. Otherwise, it would seem Frost would
have
concealed this inability to return to the divergence. The fact he clealry
asserts this inability weakens the notion that he is mocking life and the
availability of choice (and perhaps free will)--as if somehow implying we
have no choice.

Clearly, Frost states he is incapable of a return to the divergence
because
of the vigors of life. For this reason, it seems readers should be
slightly
more literal and less symbolic in analyzing Frost if the assumption is
accepted that he is employing some degree of consistency. Clearly this
assumption makes sense: a poet's message often reflects consistency.
Indeed, a poet would probably not write of God and then alter paths
midstream and write of the culture of ants. The poet would continue
writing
of God. In short, and with the application of this logically parallel
example, Frost is offering his feelings freely and transparently--thus the
argument for hidden and symbolic mockery is not there.

There is little doubt, Frost forthrightly offers his perspective on the
choices of life in The Road Not Taken. Frost specifically asserts the
poem's narrator (perhaps Frost himself) is at a difficult position in
life,
and a life-altering decision is necessary. He analyzes both options with
depth, and realizes he will not sustain a second opportunity to produce
this choice. After careful deliberation, the narrator chooses a trajectory
that is relatively less employed. This lesser relative employment perhaps
infers that it is a more difficult journey. Yet, in the end, Frost
suggests
that this relatively unique trajectory (and perhaps more difficult
endeavour) offered him the greatest of sattisfaction probably due to not
only its uniqueness, but its challenges as well: "And it has made all of
the difference."



Micheal from United States
Comment 530 of 1111, added on February 26th, 2008 at 11:40 AM.

This poem is one of my favorites and I would give it two thumbs up. I love
it.

Jordan from United States
Comment 529 of 1111, added on February 24th, 2008 at 8:41 AM.

no matter what road we choose (easy or difficult road) we should be
responsible enough and brave enough to face whatever problem that may arise
from those dicissions.

wilma from Philippines
Comment 528 of 1111, added on February 11th, 2008 at 3:41 PM.

im at school

Dylan from Australia
Comment 527 of 1111, added on February 9th, 2008 at 3:50 AM.

I can learn everything from this poem

Fina Setiyaningsih from Indonesia
Comment 526 of 1111, added on February 1st, 2008 at 12:48 PM.

Our mind usually oscillate, what to choose. We should be bold enough to
take risks to know the hidden treasure.

muhilan from India
Comment 525 of 1111, added on January 23rd, 2008 at 4:18 PM.

i like this poem a lot....but people need top stop saying,' it's about'
you can only say that if robert frost told you himself! say,'i think it's
about'. i know i have a lot of ideas but for all i know he could be writing
about which type of tomato sauce to buy for the dinner!! okay obvisouly
it's not quite like that but you get my point.....
love it!!!
one of my english coursework poems...one of my faviourtes and i'm always
coming up with new meanings every time i read it......

Loweze from United Kingdom
Comment 524 of 1111, added on December 14th, 2007 at 4:15 AM.

In the poem nothing gold can stay is a very short but meaningful poem. he
uses the line: "Her early leaf's a flower; But only so an hour," to show
that in the begging of something that you are doing seems so right and the

good thing to do but sometimes when u get to know the thing you are talking

about it isn't what you thought it was. The main point of this is that
things start off as plan but towards the end it is the total opposite from

what you thought it would be


elyse from Australia
Comment 523 of 1111, added on December 12th, 2007 at 10:58 AM.

This is one of the best peoms ever. Its simple and lucid and speaks my
mind. I am loving it !! :)

Rajiv Mathew from India
Comment 522 of 1111, added on October 25th, 2007 at 2:01 AM.

The poem tells us that there are two kinds of road in life and we have the
freedom to choose which way to take. But oftentimes, we choose the easier
way which usually leads to damnation. Choosing the other will give us
ultimate happiness and satisfaction.

Leah from Philippines

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Information about The Road Not Taken

Poet: Robert Frost
Poem: 1. The Road Not Taken
Volume: Mountain Interval
Year: 1916
Added: Feb 1 2004
Viewed: 2967 times


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