A Critical Analysis of Robert Frosts’ The Road Not Taken
It is truly incredible how a relatively small poem of only four stanzas has grown to being considered one of the great illustrations of American poetry.” In the poem, “The Road Not Taken”, the poet, Robert Frost, brings his readers on a walk to a fork in the road and asks them to answer the question, “ Where do I go next?” with a simple answer, “Go left or right.” However, when one looks below the surface, he realizes that Frost’s poem really presents the reader with a question about life. Using the poetic devices of symbolism, imagery, tone and setting, the poet creates a metaphor that transfers the reader beyond the actual footsteps on a path to one’s journey through life and the importance of making good choices along the way.
The first stanza of the poem opens with the line “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood” (The Road Not Taken). From the use of the word “yellow “, we sense that it is either spring or fall, a calm and pleasant time of year; a setting that makes the traveller want to continue the journey. The trees at the edge of the forest seem to create boundaries telling the reader that the traveller must choose one path or the other and wishes he could “travel both”, while the two roads symbolize the choice and consequences of his selection. Another example of symbolism in the first stanza is “And looked down one as far as I could / To where it bent in the undergrowth.” This shows the traveller trying to look further into the future to see what each path might hold for him. He examines one choice as best he can, but the future represented by the bend stops him from seeing where it leads. The next example of symbolism is “Yet knowing how way leads on to way / I doubted if I should ever come back.” The traveller knows that he will probably never get the chance to come back and travel the other path, and that he realizes that his choice will change his life forever. A final...