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What is the mood/tone of the poem "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost?

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aishling11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 12, 2013 at 2:20 PM via iOS

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What is the mood/tone of the poem "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost?

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Kristen Lentz | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 12, 2013 at 3:28 PM (Answer #1)

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The mood is the emotional atmosphere evoked by the text, whereas the word 'tone' describes the author's attitude toward the subject to topic. 

In "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost, the narrator finds himself facing a choice between two paths when the road forks on his journey through woods in autumn.  He must decide which road to take.  The mood at the beginning of the poem reflects the warmth of the "yellow wood" and the traveler's anticipation at having to choose his own path, so the mood feels light-hearted, even anticipatory. 

The tone, however, really focuses more on how Frost feels about the uncertainty of choices.  The narrator of the poem is unsure about choosing the wrong road and missing unknown opportunities.  The fork in the road becomes a metaphor for all choices that people must and how certain choices may affect the outcome of their lives.  As the narrator reflects on having to make a decision, the tone of "The Road Not Taken" becomes serious and contemplative.

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Kristen Lentz

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