American Literature Critisism

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American Literature critisism


The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost is a very serious, thought provoking poem. It uses irony, circular form, and other literary devices to create this serious tone. After first reading the poem, the reader could decide that this is merely about a man walking through a yellow wood, but as with most poetry, there is a world of meaning underneath the simple words used by Frost. It is this meaning that makes this poem a popular choice to be read at graduation ceremonies and other important, life altering events.

If one takes the meaning of the roads in a wood to be a metaphor for life and the decisions one makes, then this poem is about how one must go, head first and no looking back, into any decision. The close proximity of these two roads creates the illusion of the immediacy of the writer's choice. He is at the cross roads and he must decide now and he cannot put it off any longer. This cross roads begins the piece and ends the piece, showing the reader that this is an important aspect. Though the piece is circular the ideas in the poem are linear. Though the piece starts and ends with the crossroads, the writer can only take one road and will not be coming back to this specific place. It is ironic that the writer knows that he will most likely not be coming back to take the other road even though he wishes to “yet knowing how way leads on to way, [he] doubted if [he] should ever come back” (pg 652). This makes his decision even more important.

Because of the circular nature of the ideas in the poem, The Road Not Taken has an ending that is not abrupt and does not shake the reader out of the reverie or thoughtfulness that the rest of the poem induces.

Instead, the reader can slowly move away from the poem at the end and is left with a soft impression.

Through symbolism and circular form, Robert Frost creates a serious and thought provoking poem. Using very little punctuation and utilizing enjambed lines leads the reader through the poem. The poem flows through each line, leading up to the end.

Critical analysis

This poem gives a very realistic and meaningful tour of a walk through life that we must all take when facing decisions in our lives and the different paths that we must take to learn and experience our destiny. The poem shares with us the writer's journey over the course of his life, the choices he was faced with and decisions he had to make.

The Road Not Taken is a poem with a very important meaning behind it. It is one that everyone can relate to in respect to their own life. The writer is faced with the two choices of how his life could progress and he must decide which road is best for him. He must also accept his decision if the choice that he makes ...
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