Poetry Analysis – Theme in the poem “The Road Not Taken” by Frost, Robert

Poetry Analysis – Theme in the poem “The Road Not Taken” by Frost, Robert

“The Road Not Taken” by Frost, Robert is an ambiguous poem that gives the reader the ability to think about the choices that life offers, whether to go the mainstream or decide to go alone. This poem highlights that the fact life is a journey and during the journey, various key decisions must be made. The traveler meets a fork in a rod through a “yellow wood” and wishes he could be able to walk through the two paths together. However, that is not possible, and he has to choose one route to follow. One of the themes evident in the poem is the concept of choice. The path taken by the speaker splits into two directions, and he is charged with the responsibility of deciding which way to make.

The theme of life choices is paramount in the poem. The choices we make in life often define our destiny. The speaker finds himself at a point where the road splits into two, and he has to decide which way to take “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.” He decides to choose the grassy and less traveled path. The other one is less conventional, well-traveled and risk-free. The speaker spends a considerable amount of time thinking when he comes to a fork in the road “And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth.”
This is a symbol of a choice he has to make in his life. In the end, he has to decide on which way to go, but the direction he takes will live to impact him for the rest of his life. He realizes that he cannot take both roads “And sorry I could not travel both.”

The path is not just in the woods but reflects a decision in his life as well. Something in the speaker’s life is changing, compelling him to make a choice. Making a choice is not an easy step as the speaker seemingly gets confused on what path to take. At one time, he thinks one way is better, and in another moment, he feels that the other way is the better one. The two roads diverged in a yellow wood forest signifying the life of a person. The choice of the speaker regarding the path to take reflect the different decision that we must make in life and how the decisions will have an impact on our future. Thinking of the expression that most people use to describe events that occurred some times back, “down the road,” you can see how the speaker makes a connection between traveling and life. We have a natural desire to know what will happen next because of the decisions we make ‘To where it bent in the undergrowth.’

In the poem, the narrator uses the bend in the road as a metaphor for what he wishes to see but at the end. He lastly opts to use the other way since it matters less. Whatever route he considers, he does not know where he would end up. The two roads are not similar. The one chosen by the speaker is in the second stanza is “grassy and wanted wear.” This means that people seemingly do not take that path for a long time now. The speaker tries to inspire readers to try overcoming the fear of the unknown by trying new things. As humans, we are confronted and defined by the choices we make in life. In the last line of the poem, the speaker realizes that the choice he made “have made all the difference.” He tells us that in life, we must make some of the toughest decisions and regardless of our choices, we must own up to our preferences.

In conclusion, the central theme of the poem is life choices. The speaker meets a fork on his way and must decide which route to take. He sends a message that humans are defined by the choices they face and the decisions they have to make. Irrespective of the decisions we make, we must hold up to them and be content.