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“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, Literature Review Example

Pages: 3

Words: 831

Literature Review

The poem, “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost is based on an account of life. It depicts how the persona of the poem is at one point in life faced with two choices on which road or path to take. It is fundamentally both a flash back and foreshadow. A flashback of the point in time where he had to make the choice, and foreshadow of how the choice he had made would affect him at old age.

The poem has several themes that highlight the persona’s opinion on life. However, the theme that seems to stand out is the theme of Choices. The persona of the poem is walking on a road and he reaches a fork point on the road, presumably the road of life. He has to make a choice as to which road to take and which one not to. Even though both of the roads are similarly worn, and are similarly covered with un-trodden leaves, he chooses one road, convincing himself that he may try the other one on another day. However, in making this decision, he depicts doubt in whether the road he had selected was indeed the right one. This is despite the fact that the opportunity to reverse and try the other road may never come. Yet he makes his decision with the hope that in many years to come, he will look back and say that the road he chose to take, was the road that was less trodden, and that choice changed his life. The poem is made up of 4 stanzas, with each stanza containing 5 lines. The rhyme scheme that is employed in the poem is rather masculine and strict. Each line has four syllables that are stressed.

The poem has a uniform tone from the start to the end. The poem has a melancholic tone. This is depicted from the title. This tone is not readily and easily visible to the reader at first. However, the underlying imagery drawn in the choice of words used by the persona depict a depressing and melancholic tone. In stanza 1 of the poem, the persona depicts regret in the fact that he is not able to experience both roads; “…sorry I could not travel both”. This is in the second line of stanza 1. This tone is also seen in the title of the poem, “The Road Not Travelled”. This depicts a sense of regret that is embroiled throughout the poem. The fact that the title of the poem is not the road travelled supports the claim that the tone of the poem is full of regret and is melancholic.

In my opinion, this is a very good poem. The poem talks about the choices that one makes in life. The persona clearly depicts that at given points in life, everyone is riddled with choices that they have to make, regardless of the fact that each choice is riddled with uncertainties. In the end, the choices that one makes, define them. The poem is also based in the regret of the persona. The title of the poem “The Road Not Travelled” depicts regret. This is one theme in the poem that I easily associate with. There are decisions one makes in life that leaves you wondering, “What If?” At one point in time, one looks back at the choices they made and wonder what if they had made the other choice. The poem also touches on the theme of ageing. The persona foreshadows that at a later time, he will look back and claim that he had chosen the road that is less trodden and that it changed his life. This is a positive theme that is entrenched in the poem. It gives advice on the fact that everyone is bound to age and that the decisions we make at our youth will indeed come to either haunt us in the future or makes us proud of the life we have led. The author has effectively employed imagery in the poem. The relationship between man and the natural world is brought out in the way the persona refers to life’s choices at a point in a journey where one comes upon a fork path. He uses the leaves that cover the paths as a depiction of the uncertainty of the underlying perils that are associated with every decision one makes.

In conclusion, the poem is a masterpiece that clearly depicts the challenges that any young person goes through, the challenges of making decisions. The poem not only depicts the challenge of decision making, but also the challenge of taking time to consider the repercussions that one may experience in the future as a result of making these decisions. The author articulates his message by using imagery, a concept that gives the poem authenticity and enables the reader to associate a deeper meaning to the wordsand ideas that the author is trying to convey. These characteristics of the poem make it a master piece.

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