“The Road Not Taken”, by “Robert Frost” was first published in 1916, and was included in a collection titled “Mountain Interval” (Wikipedia). Some critics would say that its meaning is pretty straight forward. It describes the process of an individual having to make a decision in life, not knowing at that moment if the decision will be the right one, and surely to second guess the decision sometime later. However, regardless of the decision, it is a decision made, that has played a part in what that individual is today. Is this what Frost intended? I feel that by doing a biographical analysis on “Frost”, we can find his true meaning in this poem. To make this analysis we must look at Frost’s life prior to 1916 for any relativity and validity.
Toward the end of 1894, living in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Frost had sold his very first poem. Excited, he proposed to a woman named Elinor Miriam White, although they were not married until she finished college. After getting married, Frost’s grandfather had bought them a farm where Frost had continued writing in the early mornings. His farming had proved to be unfulfilling and not very successful. After nine years he decided to go back to teaching English, which he had done briefly before getting married.
In 1912 the couple moved to Great Britain, then eventually settling in Beaconsfield, just outside London, England (Wikipedia). “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both”, (Frost). If the roads indeed represent choice, then the yellow wood represents life. Could Frost be writing about his decision to move to Great Britain leaving America behind? Frost then writes of sorrow and not being able to travel both roads, could this be fear of future regret? What he will miss by leaving America? “And be one traveler, long I stood” (Frost). This represents his uncertainty of what the future might bring them in Great Britain. Possibly Second Guessing?