Imagery, Symbolism, Metaphors in ‘the Road not Taken’
Most people have heard at least once in their life that hard choice is the right choice and this seems to be the case for the traveler. The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost is a poem about a traveler in the woods on a beautiful autumn day. During his journey through the woods, he comes across a fork in the road. The traveler is now faced with the decision of which path to take. The traveler knows that there is an important decision to make, thus he tries to compare both paths, but ultimately realizes that they’re physically equal. This leaves the traveler torn, but he knows that ultimately the decision has to be made. Similarly, in life decisions must be made, no matter how hard the fork in the road seems. This poem helps the reader grasp how every decision matters and once the decision is made there’s no turning back. Thus, the decisions we make should be thoroughly thought out like the traveler even though the road less taken isn’t an easy road, although it’s the most beneficial road. The Road Not Taken, Robert’s use of imagery, symbolism, and extended metaphors show the importance of making decisions and it’s lasting effect.
The imagery in The Road Not Taken contributes to the importance of making decisions and its effect on life because without the vivid forest description used it wouldn’t make sense why choosing a path was so hard. “Because it was grassy and wanted wear, In leaves no step had trodden black, Though as for that the passing there had worn them really about the same”. This helps explain how both paths were physically indistinguishable. With this information the reader can conclude that that decision making isn’t always cut and dry. The traveler had to leave things up to his conscious and just hope that the decision he made wouldn’t be regretted. Similarly, in life not everything is clear, it’s tempting to make hasty decisions as opposed to contemplative ones. Both decisions might have seemed identical, but there’s always one path that is favorable for prosperity. Just because both paths had been “passed really about the same” doesn’t mean that they were both equally challenging. It never mentioned how many travelers completed both paths as opposed to turning back before they saw what the better path had in store for them. This helps the reader understand why the traveler was so adamant about taking his time to review both paths. The best decisions are made by looking past physical traits, but by digging deeper into the outcome in life.
As said before, the symbolism in The Road Not Taken contributes to the importance of making decisions and its effect on life by using a traveler who comes across two paths in the woods. Robert states, “Two Roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference.”. This shows that even the littlest choices prelude to future decisions. It also shows that some of the hardest decision make the biggest impact on life. In Addition, when Robert states, “And looked down one as far as I could, to where it bent in the undergrowth”, this shows the reader that there are always things that won’t be predictable. The traveler could only see a little-ways down both paths ahead until it was no longer visible. Thus, any plans to choose the better path by its appearance would be practically impossible. This relates to everyday life decisions because it’s not always possible to predict the future and it’s never fun feeling not unprepared and anxious for the future. This is why it’s important to figure out what both paths offer in life before it’s too late.
Additionally, the extended metaphors in The Road Not Taken contribute to the importance of making decisions and its effect on life, through Robert’s analogy of a literal road and human decisions. The road serves as both the choices people make and the actual paths people choose in life. Robert states. “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both.”. This shows that sometimes people will be faced with indecision to the point where they can no longer easily tell right from wrong. In addition, Robert states, “ Yet knowing how way leads on to way, I doubted if I should ever come back, I shall be telling this with a sigh somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and I, I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference.”. This is another reminder that life isn’t easy. There will be times full of doubt and confusion but that it’s crucial to move on and learn from prior mistakes. The traveler makes it clear that without his decision he wouldn’t be the person he is, likewise, in life, the choices made shape a person’s character traits and way of living. Everybody will be faced with a road in life and will be given the choice of two directions, although it’s much easier to be successful on a unique path and stand out, rather than blend in and take the common path with everyone else.
All in all, the All in all, Robert’s use of imagery, symbolism, and extended metaphors help open the readers understand how crucial decision making can be in life. Every decision in life has an effect whether it’s big or small. Even though the decisions in life won’t be easy, it’s still up to the reader to decide what journey is right for them, whether it’s traveled by often or not. Lastly, once the decision is made there’s no going back, so it’s important to properly consider both roads.
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Imagery, symbolism, metaphors in 'the road not taken'. (2021, Mar 16).
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