The Theme of the Road not Taken
The theme depicts everyone as a traveler, choosing the roads to follow on their continuous journey, life. There is never a straight path that leaves one with only one direction in which to head. Regardless of the original message that Robert Frost had intended to convey, The Road not Taken has left its readers with many different interpretations. It is one’s attitude that determines how he will see the poem. However, this poem demonstrates Frost’s belief that it is the road that one chooses that makes him the man who he is. “And sorry I could not travel both…” depicts how it is always difficult to make a decision because it is impossible not to wonder how it would be different if one chose the other way. A person displays that there is a strong sense of regret to know it is impossible to travel down every path. In an attempt to make a decision, the traveler “looks down one as far as I could”. This proves that the road that will be chosen leads to the unknown, as does any choice in life. As much as a person may strain their eyes to see as far the road stretches, eventually it goes past his vision and he can never see where it is going to lead. It is the way that he chooses here that sets him off on his journey and decides where he is going. “Then took the other, just as fair, and having perhaps the better claim.” What made it have the better claim is that “it was grassy and wanted wear.” This shows that the road was something that was obviously not for everyone because it seemed that the majority of people took the other path, therefore he calls it “the road less traveled”. The fact that the traveler took this path over the more popular indicates the type of personality he has. He is one that doesn’t want to follow the crowd and do more of what has never been done. “And both that morning equally lay in leaves no step had trodden black.” The leaves have covered the ground and haven’t been disturbed since no one had yet passed by this road. Frost does this because each time a person comes to the point where they have to make a choice, it is new to them, somewhere they have never been and they tend to feel as though no one else had ever been there either. “I kept the first for another day!” The desire to travel down both paths is expressed and is not unusual, but “knowing how way leads on to way”, the speaker of this poem realizes that the decision is not just a temporary one, but also a permanent one. This is his common sense speaking to him, telling that what he chooses now will affect every other choice he makes afterward. Once you have performed an act or spoken a word that shows who you are, there is no turning back. Once again at the end of the poem the regret hangs over the traveler like a heavy cloud about to burst. He realizes that at the end of his life, “somewhere ages and ages hence”, he will have regrets about having never gone back and traveling down the roads he did not take. Yet he remains proud of his decision and he recognizes that it was this path that he chose that made him turn out the way that he did and live his life the way in which he lived. “I took the road less traveled by and that had made all the difference.” To this man, what was most important is that he did what he wanted, even if it meant taking the road less traveled. If he hadn’t, he wouldn’t be the same man he is now. In other words, there is no specificity and no moral. There is simply a narrator who makes a decision in his life that had changed the direction of his life from what it may have otherwise been. It allows all readers from all different experiences to relate to the poem.