On “The Road Not Taken”
It is not uncommon for a work to be misinterpreted or misunderstood from the author's true intentions, and one of the best examples is the case of Robert Frost's poem, “The Road Not Taken.” For as long as it has been read, “The Road Not Taken” has been interpreted as one of the most foremost bastions of individualism and as a justification the idea of “not following the crowd.” The most commonly held interpretation of “The Road Not Taken” is that it is a story of a man traveling in the woods. He comes across a fork in the path and after seeing that one of the paths is well worn by other travelers, decides to take the path less traveled. The last two lines, “I took the one less traveled by, /And that has made all the difference“ (lines 19-20). are seen as proof that he is well rewarded for his individualism. The reality however is that upon closer examination, Robert Frosts true intentions couldn't be further from the aforementioned. In writing this poem, Frost wanted provide a commentary on human nature and, to show that people typically waste time thinking about what are ultimately unimportant decisions.
. Firstly, the name of the poem,”The Road Not Taken”, places emphasis on the road that the narrator doesn't travel on, and the structure is as follows: four five line stanzas with the rhyme structure, ABAAB. The setting is a “yellow wood”(1) and there is mention of leaves on the ground in third stanza, so it is assumed that it is the fall and in a metaphorical sense close to the end of the man's life. In the first stanza, three of the five lines begin with the word “and”, and words such as “doubt” “sigh”, and “sorry” are common, so it can reasonable be assumed that the narrator is the nervous and indecisive type.
Throughout the poem, Frost uses the fork in the road as a metaphor for a decision. For example the narrator says, “long I stood, and looked down one as far as I could/To where it bent in the undergrowth;” (4-5). The...