The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost is a very serious, thought provoking poem. It uses irony, circular form, and other literary devices to create this serious tone. After first reading the poem, the reader could decide that this is merely about a man walking through a yellow wood, but as with most poetry, there is a world of meaning underneath the simple words used by Frost. It is this meaning that makes this poem a popular choice to be read at graduation ceremonies and other important, life altering events.

If one takes the meaning of the roads in a wood to be a metaphor for life and the decisions one makes, then this poem is about how one must go, head first and no looking back, into any decision. The close proximity of these two roads creates the illusion of the immediacy of the writer's choice.

He is at the cross roads and he must decide now and he cannot put it off any longer. This cross roads begins the piece and ends the piece, showing the reader that this is an important aspect. Though the piece is circular the ideas in the poem are linear. Though the piece starts and ends with the crossroads, the writer can only take one road and will not be coming back to this specific place. It is ironic that the writer knows that he will most likely not be coming back to take the other road even though he wishes to "yet knowing how way leads on to way, [he] doubted if [he] should ever come back" (pg 652). This makes his decision even more important.

Because of the circular nature of the ideas in the poem, The Road Not Taken has an ending that is not abrupt...