The Road Less Traveled


The Road Less Traveled Essay, Research Paper

Seth Courter

Eng. 146 Comp. II


Chi, Poem Essay

Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Less Traveled” amazingly

first written was not intended to convey certain aspects of what

it is now interpreted as. Life is a road with different paths.

Taking one path over another forever changes the course of ones

life for the good or bad. Though Frost’s poem as he told was

about him getting separated from his friend in the woods. It

can’t be denied that this poem clearly shows his beliefs, that it is

the road that someone chooses that makes them who they are

today or who they will become.

With the first line opening “And Sorry” already you get a

sense of regret. “…I could not travel both” what opportunities

will be missed? That is why it is difficult to make a decision.

You can’t travel down every path you want. It isn’t possible to do

everything. “,long I stood And looked down one as far as I could”

Never the less you still have to make a decision in where you

want to go. He looks down the path to where it bent in the

undergrowth, trying to see an outcome. This isn’t possible

though, as any choice you make, the complete outcome is never


“Then took the other as just as fair, And having perhaps the

better claim,” The other path he looked at, looked really the

same as the other but he thought one having the better claim. If

they both look just as fair, something must make it have the

better claim. “Because it was grassy and wanted wear;” The

next two lines may begin to confuse. “Though as for that, the

passing there Had worn them really about the same,” One path

looks like it needs wear to him thought it may not to other

people. He was interested in taking that path not of the majority.

Something he hasn’t done before makes him want to experience

it. The traveler then if choosing ‘the path less traveled” only

shows his personality. Not following the crowd but doing what

he wants, what he has never done. Experience what is new,

different. To wear the inexperienced down to experienced.

The leaves fallen cover the ground of the path he wants to

take. “And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had

trodden black.” This statement again reassures the reader and

also the traveler, this is the path less traveled. Each time you

come upon a decision it is new to you. It is a first experience, it

is a path with leaves yet to be turned black from wear. Desire

would have it that you can experience two different choices and

see their consequences. “I kept the first for another day!” that

is his desire to be able to come back to the path. “Yet, knowing

how way leads to way” shows that one decision leads to a new

different one. In reality you cannot come back to the decision

you chose to waive. This is proven by the last line is this stanza,

“I doubted if I should ever come back.” This choice he makes is

forever sealed.

In the last stanza “I Shall be telling this with a sigh”.

Regret emerges from the beginning and once more at the end of

the poem. Not necessarily at the end of his life but, just later on

when time has passed. “Somewhere ages and ages hence:” He

will have some regret that he didn’t take the other path. This is

why he sighs. Thinking, if taking the more traveled path he could

have been able to not have experienced certain aspect of his life

that he disliked. Again reiterating “I took the one less traveled

by,”. Although he seems to have regrets about what he has

chosen, he still remains confident and proud for the decision he

made. “And that has made all the difference.” What made the

biggest difference, what really seems to be important is doing

what one desires. If one does take the road less traveled in their

own mind, you will not be the person could have been. He would

have not become the person that he is today, that is what has

made all the difference.

Perhaps the most difficult thing in life to do is to make

decisions. Like all of us Robert Frost had to make choices.

Some things we all have to eventually choose for example is

whether or not we want go to college. Or joining the work force,

what job, where, when, how long. Maybe Robert Frost wanted us

to see how important these things are. Making the reader see

how important it is to do what you want. Taking time to and

reflecting on choices you are going to make.

This poem can have many meaning, and could have been

the very intention of Frost. This poem does enable anyone to

relate to it through their experience, which is why Frost is world

renown for his writings. Life can revolve around experiences,

ones you learn from and other’s you teach from. Experiences are

achieved throughout choices you make. Making choices forms

people into who they are, and who they become. When looking

at a choice generally you have two option, two paths in which

you can go down. Choosing which path to take makes a

difference. Once you make the decision, it is difficult, perhaps

impossible to change the course you have chosen. You can’t go

back and make the other choice. The speaker makes the

decision and realizes that it may not of been right. It has made

him into who he is, and comfortable with himself it make him


“The Road Not Taken”

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that, the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet, knowing how way leads onto 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 wood, and I –

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

– Robert Frost

Work Cited

Wakefield, Richard. Robert Frost and the Opposing Lights of the

hour. New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., 1985

Cofin, Robert P. Tristram. New Poetry of New England Frost and

Robinson. New York: Russell & Russell, 1964

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