Road not Taken

The Road Not Taken: An Exploration of the Choices of Life

Have you read the world-famous poem of American literature “The Road not Taken”? It is a worth reading, celebrated and remarkable poem, written by renowned American poet Robert Frost (1875-1963) in 1916.He was born in USA and regarded as the Voice of America. This poem is regarded as his masterpiece because of his deep contemplation on the best choices in the journey of life.

Rhyming Scheme and meaning of Road not Taken

In order to create unity and flow in the poem, the poet followed the rhyming scheme that is ABAAB. It is beautifully crafted by using the unique form of iambic tetrameter. The poem is highly symbolic and the writer has used literary techniques in order to make the poem effective and beautiful.

He has employed metaphor, irony and alliteration that have enriched the poem by giving it color and beauty. Its meaning is of great importance which are the right choice at right time in the journey of beautiful life.

Analysis and explanation of poem The Road not Taken  

The poem begins by a speaker who is walking through a dark forest. It is the season of autumn which is the symbol of decay and the leaves of the trees are turning yellow because of the natural effect of autumn season. While walking he suddenly stops at a fork in the road and thinks which path, he has to choose for going ahead.

The forest is dense and the road is not straight so it is difficult for him to see far and make a clear decision. After some time, he decides to choose a second path as his way because it seems less worn than first one.

But when he actually walks on the second path, he realizes that both paths are equal, both are equally covered with leaves and he thinks that how many people have come on the second path. So, he says that;

Summary of the poem “The Road not Taken”

The poem highlights a speaker’s journey in the dark forest. He is standing at a fork, thinking which path should be the best path. After some contemplation, he selects the second path, reasoning that it is less worn it means that it is less traveled and shows his individuality but after walking some time he regrets on his decision and ponder that he will come back and travel the first path but, in his life, it is impossible and this thing has made his life different from other.

The poem is considered as a masterpiece in literary canon and many writers has used it into their work. It reflects the theme of choice and its consequences and also the poem can be seen as a journey of life. It is a symbolical and worth reading masterpiece of literature which shows the importance of decision making in the journey of our life.

The two roads diverged in a yellow wood.

 And sorry I could not travel both.

He consoles himself and states that he will come back on another day. He and would travel on the first path which he has left as a choice but immediately realizes that in future it is impossible for him to get a chance to come back and travel on the first path.

The speaker states that he has given a choice between two paths and he has to choose one and this thing makes a difference in his life. He makes the choice of less travelled path which changes his life because of his right decision at high time.

Themes of poem “The Road not Taken “

It is a symbolical poem of multiple themes and moral lessons. Let us explore its important themes and morals which are also regarded as its important points.

Choice and consequences

The poem explores the theme of making choice and its aftermaths, which the writer makes in this poem. In this poem the speaker chooses a path out of two roads. It is very hard for him to make a clear decision that which path he should choose, sometimes it seems to him that first path is more clear, beautiful and comfortable than second and sometimes he thinks that second path is better.

In this dilemma he chooses second path to go and this decision effects on his future journey. Symbolically, Frost has used the path for a person’s life. In the journey of our life, we have to make decisions and make a choice out of many. Our decisions affect our future and we don’t have any other choice to come back and correct our choice because in life once is done cannot be undone.

 Journey of life

The second important theme of the poem is journey of life. The road stands as a person ‘s life. It is the representation of different directions in life and how these decisions affect our life. He selects a path that is less worn.

In the journey of life, when a person takes such a decision which make his life comfortable but he doesn’t know about his future and in this way sometimes he remained disturbed in his life because of his decision.

The speaker is traveling through a yellow wood and makes a decision. While making a decision that which road he has to choose for his comfortable journey, in the same way a person in the journey of life makes many decisions for his bright future.

His decision makes his life beautiful and miserable so in the journey of life it is very important for an individual to make a right decision. The decisions are uncertain and it is natural that we have desire to know what will happen as the result of our decision.

But at the same time after taking decisions, the feeling of sorrow, regret and hopelessness is natural as the poet says in this poem which gives us worldly wisdom.

” And sorry I could not Travel both”

He is confident about his decision but at the same time he regrets that he will not be able to travel the first path.

Importance of the title Road not Taken

The title of the poem is very thematic, it symbolizes journey or stage. The road is a one path of our life and functions as a choice and vital decision in our life

The poem is highly symbolic and the poet has used many symbols to emphasizing the importance of choice and decision in our life, here we will take brief overview of it.

Yellow woods

Light, hope and promise has been shown by the yellow coloring of woods. The speaker is standing before his bright future and it depends on him that which path, he selects for his better and successful journey.

Moreover, the place where he is standing is quiet and dark and there is no sign and any person whom he asks about right direction. It is totally his responsibility to make his path. Here writer is also showing the importance of consultation which we get in the form of pieces of advices from our elders.

The roads

The two roads that are going in different directions stands as a decision in every person’s life. Man is responsible for his decisions and every decision makes his destination by shaping its future. So, deep contemplation is essential.


Morning stands as a brightness, youthfulness and early stage of life. The speaker starts his journey in the dark woods in the early morning, it symbolizes that he is in his early age and he must have completed many responsibilities throughout his life.

Conclusion of the poem Road not Taken

To conclude, this remarkable poem that makes a direct connection between life and travelling, and choice and decision. There is one single concept in this poem that is” choice”. A person must make a choice among many and once the decision has made it cannot be changed so in the journey of our life, we must make right decision at right time by our wisdom and knowledge.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

An American poet, Robert Frost wrote the poem.

The main symbol of the poem The Road Not Taken is the path that represents multiple choices in the journey of life.

The main theme of the poem is the emphasis on journey of life. In our life we make multiple choices and finally have reached on a decision.

If we ponder over the title of the poem the “Road Not Taken” we realize that the road that is not Taken by poet is more important than the second road. He is more worried about the first road and continuously thinking about the first road.

The poem teaches us that in our life we have no time to meditate our decisions and the regret our choices that we had left.

Frost wrote the poem in order to tease his friend when they were walking but it is not an autobiographical work.

The poem is all about a person who chooses a path that is less traveled, it means that he has his own individual thinking and decision so the poem reflects the theme of individuality.

The poem has inspired many writers and they had used this poem as a reference into their work. The poem revolves around the theme of decision making and selecting a right path, writers has used its lines as a reference for this type of situation.

The poem is about individualism and choice. The speaker of the poem makes his unique decision and decides that he will go from the second path, having less traveled by people. This decision has made his journey different from other and in this line the speaker is saying about this to his audience or readers.

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