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Road Not Taken

The poem “Road Not Taken” is about the life of human beings. It talks about critical choices that we make and the impacts that they have in our lives. As human beings, there are times when we have to make very tough choices.”The Road Not Taken” is a title that symbolizes a decision that ought to have been taken but the person ended up making a wrong one. This shows that many people normally find it difficult to make decisions especially when there are various alternatives. In many cases, people do not take time to critically think before making a decision. The first choice that comes on their way is what they take for their final decision. The author thus advices people to consider other alternatives because they might find them better than the first one.

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The tone used in the poem is not of extreme emotion as it would be expected. This is because the words chosen suggest something more placid and mellow. The tone is soft and distant which is shown by use of words such as “sigh” and “mellow”. The traveler is confused and indecisive. He does not know the correct path to his destination because the two paths are almost the same and confusing. This helps to create a feeling of uncertainty and indecision. The traveler is about to make a decision that is so critical to his future. The path that he takes will certainly determine his destination which he hopes to be good. The tone however turns sad when the poet regrets having taken that particular path. It helps to understand what impact the choices that we make have on our lives.

Through varying language techniques, the poet conveys his message. At the beginning of stanza one, he uses imagery to describe the setting. This technique helps the reader to form the picture of the environment in which the event is taking place. He describes the roads as going through yellow wood which shows that it was during autumn. The poet also talks of the weather being a bit warm which shows that the season was just after summer. Another technique used to describe the road is personification. He describes the second road as being grassy and needed wear. This means that the second road was less travelled and that’s why it had grown grass. It helps the reader to make a comparison with the first road which was not grassy. He goes on to describe the woods as being yellow and sigh. This is another use of personification meaning that the road was lonely and he was likely not to meet anybody on the way.

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The poem is also very idealistic. The poet in stanza two states that it would be an ideal world if there were only two choices to make. He goes on to say that it would be more ideal if it were possible to foresee any forthcoming consequence. Throughout the poem, the poet has made it very difficult for the reader to understand what he says. The two roads in the poem appear very similar and at times different which makes it difficult for the audience to understand. There is another use of imagery when he describes the difficulties that people face in the course of their lives. He describes life as a long and tiring journey. He goes on to say that the journey is a must and everyone must travel. He eventually concludes that decision making is the hardest part of the journey when he talks of the two roads.

The title “The Road Not Taken” is symbolic as it means that people leave the right decisions and choosing the wrong ones. In many real life situations, some people abandon the right careers only to end up choosing the wrong ones. Some are mislead while others just don’t understand what is right for them and what is not. This leads to many regrets which the poet describes in stanza three. The narrator says that he is sorry he could not travel on both paths. He regrets because he took the wrong one and he cannot go back to the beginning. He also keeps wondering and imagines how it could be if he had taken the other path. This is because he had taken a lot of time trying to choose the right road between the two. He had been attracted to the second road but chose the first one. The narrator however does not blame himself so much because the paths were similar and it was difficult to choose.

The narrator had examined the first road very carefully before he examined the second one. He had been confused for some time but decided to take the first one. It is clear that a simple mistake can make one to regret the rest of his life. One should be very careful and take his time when making decisions in life. The two roads in the poem are totally different in direction. In the second stanza, the narrator risked taking the path that was less travelled which he eventually regrets having taken. This signifies situations where a decision is only made once and cannot be reversed. This is reflected in stanza three when the narrator says that he wished to keep the first for another day.    

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From the poem, it is not possible to make two decisions at one time. The narrator found it impossible to travel on the two paths and he had to choose one. In real life situation leaders have the responsibilities of making decisions on behalf of others. People in such positions should be very careful not to make decisions that do not favor others. For this not to happen, leaders should make consultations before making major decisions. In the last stanza, the narrator says that it had made all the difference. This means that he had made a choice that he was not happy about and he wished that he taken the other path. “The Road Not Taken” can thus signify a person’s life. The traveler can be a person who has two or more choices to make. The person tries to consider two choices just as the two roads in the woods. The traveler finds it impossible to go back to the other road. This applies in real life whereby a choice is made, it is impossible to go back.   

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