The Road Not Taken - Download as DOC by tJpe17BZ


									                                The Road Not Taken By Robert Frost

1. Pre-Reading

A) List all the decisions you have to make whether minor or major in a day. How are you influenced
when making these decisions?

2. During Reading

Follow the steps for reading poetry. Beside the poem stanzas, paraphrase the meaning of the poem.

Draw a sketch depicting what you visualize happening.
3. After Reading Questions

A. Does the speaker feel that he has made the wrong choice in taking the road “less travelled by”?
Explain why or why not?

B. Why does the choice between two roads that seem so alike make such a difference many years later?

C. What do the two roads in the poem represent?

D. Define Symbolism. Describe the use of symbolism in this poem.

Critical Thinking

1. Why do you think the wood is described as “yellow” in the first line?

2. What do you think Frost means by the phrase “as just as fair” in line six?

3. Why do you think Frost chose the word “wanted” instead of the word “lacked” in line eight?

4. What does the word trodden mean in line twelve?

5. What effect is created by using the word “And” to begin three lines in the first stanza? Where else is
“And” used?

6. How does line eighteen echo the first line? What effect does it have?

The literal meaning of this poem by Robert Frost is pretty obvious. A traveler comes to a
fork in the road and needs to decide which way to go to continue his journey. After much
mental debate, the traveler picks the road "less traveled by."
The figurative meaning is not too hidden either. The poem describes the tuogh choices
people stand for when traveling the road of life. The words "sorry" and "sigh" make the tone
of poem somewhat gloomy. The traveler regrets leaves the possibilities of the road not
chosen behind. He realizes he probably won't pass this way again.

There are plenty literary devices in this poem to be discovered. One of these is antithesis.
When the traveler comes to the fork in the road, he wishes he could travel both. Within the
current theories of our physical world, this is a non possibility (unless he has a split
personality). The traveler realizes this and immediately rejects the idea.
Yet another little contradiction are two remarks in the second stanza about the road less
traveled. First it's described as grassy and wanting wear, after which he turns to say the
roads are actually worn about the same (perhaps the road less traveled makes travelers
turn back?).

All sensible people know that roads don't think, and therefore don't want. They can't. But
the description of the road wanting wear is an example of personification in this poem. A
road actually wanting some as a person would. However: some believe this to be incorrect
and believe "wanting wear" is not a personification, but rather older English meaning
"lacking". So it would be "Because it was grassy and lacked wear;".

Those who interpret this poem as suggesting non-conformity take the word “difference” to be a
positive difference. But there is nothing in the poem that suggests that this difference signals a
positive outcome. The speaker could not offer such information, because he has not lived the
“difference” yet.

The other word that leads readers astray is the word “sigh.” By taking “difference” to mean a
positive difference, they think that the sigh is one of nostalgic relief; however, a sigh can also
mean regret. There is the “oh, dear” kind of sigh, but also the “what a relief” kind of sigh. Which
one is it?

If it is the relief sigh, then the difference means the speaker is glad he took the road he did; if it
is the regret sigh, then the difference would not be good, and the speaker would be sighing in
regret. But the plain fact is that the poem does not identify the nature of that sigh. The speaker
of the poem does not even know the nature of that sigh, because that sigh and his evaluation of
the difference his choice will make are still in the future. It is a truism that any choice an
individual make is going to make “all the difference” in how our future turns out.

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