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If life is a journey, this poem highlights those times in life when a decision has to be made. Which way will you go? The ambiguity springs from the question of free will versus determinism, whether the speaker in the poem consciously decides to take the road that is off the beaten track or only does so because he doesn't fancy the road with the bend in it.
External factors therefore make up his mind for him. Robert Frost wrote this poem to highlight a trait of, and poke fun at, his friend Edward Thomas, an English-Welsh poet, who, when out walking with Frost in England would often regret not having taken a different path.
Thomas would sigh over what they might have seen and done, and Frost thought this quaintly romantic. In other words, Frost's friend regretted not taking the road that might have offered the best opportunities, despite it being an unknown.
Frost liked to tease and goad. People take it very seriously. It is the hallmark of the true poet to take such everyday realities, in this case, the sighs of a friend on a country walk, and transform them into something so much more. All of Robert Frost's poems can be found in this exceptional book, The Collected Poemswhich I use for all my analyses.
It contains all of his classics and more.
It's the most comprehensive collection currently on offer. This person, faced with an important conscious decision, chose the least popular, the path of most resistance.
He was destined to go down one, regretted not being able to take both, so he sacrificed one for the other. Ultimately, the reader is left to make up their own mind about the emotional state of the speaker at the end. Was the choice of the road less travelled a positive one?
It certainly made "all the difference," but Frost does not make it clear just what this difference is. Oh, I kept the first for another day! 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 wood, and I— I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
Thus, one should make their decision swiftly and with confidence. It is normal to wonder what the outcome would have been if the other road, the road not taken, was the road chosen.See also the pages. Criticism of Seamus Heaney's 'The Grauballe Man' and other poems Seamus Heaney: ethical depth?
His responses to the British army during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, bullfighting, the Colosseum, 'pests,' 9/11, IRA punishment, . Home page for Willard Van Orman Quine, mathematician and philosopher including list of books, articles, essays, students, and travels. Includes links to other Willard Van Orman Quine Internet resources as well as to other Family Web Sites by Douglas Boynton Quine.
Five Poem Analyses Robert Frost is a simple, yet unconventional poet. Frost did things his own way and as a result took quite a bit of heat from the critics of his time. Welcome to The Literature Network!
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"Robert Frost: The Work of Knowing" by Richard Poirier does what I want: presents a solid, thorough critical study of Robert Frost's work without getting lost in praise. The first, wittiest statement of the paradoxical efficacy of conflict, the invisible hand, and creative destruction in human affairs, was The Grumbling Hive: Or Knaves Turned Honest.
by Bernard Mandeville ().. The poem appears after the bio on Doctor Mandeville.