Robert Frost “The Road Not Taken” Literature Analysis Research Paper

September 29, 2020 by Essay Writer


Robert Frost is a prominent poet of his time. Creating the masterpieces of literature, this person could not even imagine that his creativity is going to be so touching and impressive. There are a lot of different interpretations of Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” that it is easy to appear in the situation that one cannot understand what the poems are about.

At the same time, having read several interpretations, it is possible to consider the ideas which are more relevant to the theme the author wanted to deliver. Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” is the presentation of human consideration of life paths from different perspectives depending on the age of a person.

Therefore, Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” is the interpretation of the author’s vision of a youth, middle age and an older age of a person who makes decisions, stating that youth and older age are the most emotional periods while during the middle age people are the most reasonable in their choices.

Author’s Consideration of a Poem

Many critics tried to connect Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” with his personal life, searching for the most incredible issues there, however, according to Frost, who tried to explain the poem himself, it was rather complicated from what it was seen from the first sight. Frost tries to make sure that his poem is correctly understood and writes many letters to critics and even publishes a poem.

In a letter to Miss Yates in April, 1925, Frost says that the final words are rather puzzling for the reader as trying to tease the audience the writer creates an impression that the author is sorry for the life he has lived, however, this is not really so (in Finger 478). Moreover, to make sure that all the readers who are interested in Frost’s poetry get the correct vision of this piece of writing, he writes the explanation in prose “The Constant Symbol” and publishes it in the Atlantic Monthly.

Two paragraphs of the explanation are read as “a metaphorical gloss of the poem” (Eisiminger 114). The author wants to assure the public that he does not regret about the life he has lead. The poem is absolutely about other things. The author presents the example of the President in the White House, a person who has achieved much and does not want to live another life, however, he is interested about what would be if the circumstances were different. This is exactly about Frost’s life and prose (Eisiminger 115).

Poem’s Content and Principal Theme

Therefore, the main theme of the poem is not the regret about life but different perspective of life which may be followed in different age periods. Being young and inexperienced, people are usually more emotional and the ways they choose are considered absolutely different, and they believe that they are offered a plenty of choices (George 230). Frost writes

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there (Frost 10).

It seems that the author has chosen the path which required more attempt to go through it. It seems that the author has chosen they way which was more complicated. However, the nest passage sates that “both that morning equally lay / In leaves no step had trodden black” (Frost 10) meaning that looking at the situation from the middle-age perspective, a person sees the situation more objectively (Bassett 43).

Finally, the last lines inform the reader that “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I — / I took the one less traveled by” (Frost 10) meaning that with age a person again becomes emotional and cannot consider the situation objectively (George 231). Therefore, it ay be concluded that he main idea of the poem is to show how a person’s vision of the life evolves with age, when time passes.

Poem’s Form and Structure

The poem consists of four stanzas five lines each. The first three stanzas of the poem provide the reader with the comparative analysis of the younger personal identity with the middle age ones. The last stanza is a vision of the situation which happened with a young person from the perspective of an older personality.

Therefore, the whole poem is the vision of one person at the situation being in different age groups. The main purpose of this logical structure is to show the aging of a person and the changes which occur in the perception of life. The whole poem has nothing to do with regret and the form and structure of telling supports this idea.

Personal Response to the Poem

As for me, a poem is a great example of how people should behave and how people are to see their lives. First, when having appeared in the situation people are to choose the way which seems less investigated, people should choose the way which is not chosen by others or others do not choose it due to its difficulty.

This slight difference is not seen in the middle age as people in this age lack emotional aspects and they become more practical. I see how people of the middle age make decisions, they refer to facts and practical appropriateness of the decisions, while younger people also pay attention to intuition and other emotional aspects.

The final stanza is the most important, as for me. It presents the vision of the life from the perspective of lived years. Only in this age people can look at their life and try to imagine what would be if they chose another way, another pass. And looking at their lives, those who achieved something, those who in youth chose more difficult path (as they believed), they saw the difference, they understood that in case of another choice they would not be proud of their destinations. Therefore, I am sure that the poem may be considered as the example of the human growth both in age and in mental perception of the world.


Thus, Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” is a great example of human development, the example how people who have achieved much view at their lives from the perspective of time. Moreover, the poem is a little tricky that confuses the reader making him/her think harder.

It is not the statement of the regret about the past. Vise versa, the poem is the vision of wise people of the possibilities of their lives and the analysis whether those possibilities were used or not. Reading this poem one should think about his/her personal life trying to understand at which position he/she appears now and where there is a possibility to change something, if necessary.

Works Cited

Bassett, Patrick F. “Frost’s THE ROAD NOT TAKEN.” Explicator 39.3 (1981): 41-44. Print.

Eisiminger, Sterling. “Robert Frost’s essay ‘The constant symbol’ and its relationship to ‘The Road Not Taken’.” American Notes & Queries 19.7/8 (1981): 114-116. Print.

Finger, Larry L. “Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”: A 1925 Letter Come to Light.” American Literature 50.3 (1978): 478-480. Print.

Frost, Robert. The Road Not Taken, Birches, and Other Poems. New York: Coyote Canyon Press, 2010. Print.

George, William. “Frost’s The Road Not Taken.” Explicator 49.4 (1991): 230-233. Print.

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