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What is a line-by-line summary of "The Road Not Taken"?Please give me a detailed line...

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ayush123 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 9, 2009 at 8:37 PM via web

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What is a line-by-line summary of "The Road Not Taken"?

Please give me a detailed line by line explanation so that i can understand it better

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josajoseph08 | Student , Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted January 29, 2012 at 10:16 PM (Answer #1)

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This poem is a metaphor of life. It tells about making choices and taking the right path.

1- The poet is describing a fork in the road. The 'yellow wood' suggests it is autumn season

2_3- The poet wants to go down both roads at once, but realizing that it is impossible, he dicides to choose one. Thus antethesis is used here.

4_5- He is thinking hard about his choice. He stares at one road, seeing where it goes but he can see only up to the 1st bend.

6_8-He looks at the other road and thinks it would be better as it hasnt been walked veery much. The word wanted means 'locked'. Thus alliteration is used.

9_10- He changes his mind and says both the roads are same in appearence.

11_12- Both the paths have been covered by leaves. They havent turned black by crushing them.

13- The poet decides to take the 2nd path. He kept the 1st one for later.

14_15- His hopes to come back and try the other path may be foolish as one path leads to another. He doesnt know whether he would come back.

16_17- (We jump forward in time) ZThis line is very important. The 'sigh' can be a sigh of satisfaction or a sigh of regret.

20- 'A difference' could either mean success or utter failiure. The poet is just saying that the choice he had to take was an important one.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 9, 2009 at 10:32 PM (Answer #2)

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First five lines:  The narrator comes to a split in the road and wishes he could take both.  He knows he can't and he looks down one road.  Some commentators think the part about the bend in the undergrowth is supposed to make the road sound scary.

Next five lines: The he looks at the other road and thought it was nicer because it was grassier and not as worn down.  But then realized the other one was about the same.  He seems to be saying that everything he thinks about the two roads is really illusion and they're both the same.

Next five lines: Continues the contradiction from the last stanza.  Then decides he'll take the other road some other day but also thinks he'll never come back.

Last five lines: He says that someday he'll look back and he'll say that taking the less-used road has made all the difference.

Overall, seems like he's saying it's all in his head.  The roads are the same but he will convince himself that they were different and that the difference was important.

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brandih | eNotes Employee

Posted November 10, 2009 at 2:08 AM (Answer #3)

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Please see the link below for another answer.

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