Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” (rpt. In Thomas R. Arp and Greg Johnson, Perrine’s Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense, 10th ed. [Boston: Wadsworth, 2009] 725 presents itself with a traveler that is dissatisfied with the decision that he has to make. A situation of life sometime requires a decision to be made between two things that will have a huge impact in the end. The consequences are not always what we expect.
I will now explain how Frost used literal and figurative techniques to describe a man traveling through the woods and his thoughts on deciding which road to take. Literally, the man appeared to be content with his travels until he reached the fork in the road, and had to make a decision. Figuratively, he is a man who was living his life and became troubled when he was faced with a big decision.
And be one traveler, long I stood
Perhaps the undergrowth is a symbol of his blocked vision of where the road might lead him. The one road may have been full of fun, money, and opportunity, but he could not see the end of it. The undergrowth could also mean that long running vines of greenery that stretched along the road and lead to nowhere.
Frost uses a lot of imagery to inform the reader of the other choices. Both roads had been traveled the same, but had different appearances. The grass could have given the illusion that the road in the second stanza would provide better opportunity. There is a saying, “don’t let the green grass fool you,” meaning although the grass is green, it doesn’t have to be the best choice. The yellow wood could represent that it was time for a change to take place in his life just like when the leaves change color in the fall of the year. From a biblical point of view, a change in nature is usually a sign or path from God, and possibly been Gods way of telling him it is time to make a decision. The scripture also refers to walking when explaining how someone should live their life through faith in God. For example, “(For we walk by faith, not by sight :) 2 Corinthians 5:7.
Literally, the traveler is a man with a meaningless decision walking through the forest and if he takes the wrong road he can always come back. Figuratively, he has to make a big decision, and does not have any one to give advice as to...