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Life as a Journey in poetry

Uploaded by hilarios604 on Jul 10, 2002

Everyone is a traveler, choosing the roads to follow on the continuous journey of life; there exists not a path that leaves one with but a sole direction in which to advance. In his poem, "The Road Not Taken", Robert Frost exhibits insight and perception in using poetic techniques to communicate this message. The piece depicts a man’s regret at not being able to travel two roads, and having to make a choice between the two. The importance of making decisions is disclosed in the narrator’s assertion that his choice “has made all the difference.”

The first few lines of the poem introduce the elements of Frost’s primary metaphor and symbol, the diverging roads. The use of the road suggests that life is a journey that the narrator is traveling. The “two roads diverged” symbolize the points in this journey where one must make choices. As the narrator contemplates his decision, wishing that he could take both paths at the same time while knowing there is no possibility in that, the reader is able to glimpse the strength of Frost’s symbolism- every person must make decisions with the knowledge that going back and changing them is impossible, because one has already traveled too far down the chosen path to turn back.

The setting, along with imagery, assists in developing the key symbols of the poem. The piece opens with the narrator taking a walk in the woods during the autumn season, when he is suddenly confronted with a diverging path. The central image of “two roads diverged” helps to convey the theme of having to make choices in life. The “yellow wood” corresponds to the autumn season, a period that is often related to the end of the annual cycle in flora and foliage. Autumn may be perceived as a state in limbo between the vivacity of summer and the chill of winter. The speaker examines one path to the best of his ability: “ . . . and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth”. His vision, however, is limited because the path bends, and a certain amount of undergrowth obscure the destination of the road. The description of the paths indicates that although the speaker would like to acquire more information, he is prevented from doing so because of the nature of his environment. The road that will be chosen leads...

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Uploaded by:   hilarios604

Date:   07/10/2002

Category:   Poetry

Length:   4 pages (1,009 words)

Views:   1797

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