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In "The Road Not Taken," from what the speaker states in lines 6-10, is one road really...

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waifung | Honors

Posted April 26, 2013 at 1:13 AM via web

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In "The Road Not Taken," from what the speaker states in lines 6-10, is one road really "less traveled" than the other?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted April 26, 2013 at 6:25 AM (Answer #1)

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Looking at the second stanza, it is clear that although the speaker intially at least feels one is "less travelled" than the other, he swiftly acknowledges that actually, there is hardly any difference between these two near-identical paths. Note how he describes them and the words he uses in his description:

Then took the other, just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that, the passing there

Had worn them really about the same...

The next stanza begins by describing how both paths "equally lay." The initial identification of the speaker that one path is somehow "less travelled" than the other perhaps reflects the way that people, when making important life choices, initially might judge that one path or decision is more favourable than the other. However, this poem points towards the truth that normally this is something that is a figment of people's imagination: there are only different decisions. The different way we might look upon them depends entirely on ourselves, and often, when people try to deliberate between two choices, and try to find certain dis/advantages between them, they are forced to concede that there is no obvious difference and they just have to make a choice.

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