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What is the theme 'The Road Not Taken' by Robert Frost?     

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rachnagoyal | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted March 15, 2010 at 7:03 PM via web

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What is the theme 'The Road Not Taken' by Robert Frost?

 

 

 

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missjenn | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted March 15, 2010 at 7:41 PM (Answer #1)

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The major theme in Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken," is about making choices. The speaker in the poem in traveling and comes upon a cross roads or a fork-in-the-road. Here he or she much decide which way to continue traveling. One way looks as if it has been traveled many times before and is the safer, easier route to continue down. However, the other road does not like it has been used frequently and may be more problematic to travel on. He ends up selecting the path less traveled by, or the road that did not look as convenient, to continue his journey. He/she states that by selecting this path, it has "made all the difference." You could also  interpret that as a theme. Not only is the theme about choice, but it about praising the choice of the nonconformist, someone who goes outside the box to think, a renegade or risk taker.  Think of the saying, "what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger." If this person selected the easy path, they would not have experienced any challenges, yet by choosing the path less traveled they are inviting obstacles and unforeseen adventure, which may make them stronger in character.

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 15, 2010 at 11:31 PM (Answer #3)

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I think the theme of The Road Not Taken is about how challenge draws us. We are attracted to the opportunity to overcome obstacles. The road that hadn't been taken "wanted wear". The process of our decision-making deals with weighing the obstacle and if we are able to pursue something. We weigh what we know of our abilities. Frost took the road after weighing the decision because it (the road) longed for him. People need to be needed. The call of the less traveled road demonstrated need to Frost as well as challenge. So the result of taking that road less traveled helped Frost meet both need and challenge and in his life that resulted in a difference that might mean fulfillment or satisfaction.

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Doug Stuva | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted March 15, 2010 at 11:58 PM (Answer #2)

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"The Road Not Taken," by Robert Frost is an often misinterpreted poem.  The content has nothing to do with taking an unpopular road or choosing the difficult, less-traveled path.  The roads, the speaker says, are pretty much the same.  There was virtually no difference.  He does not take the less-traveled path.  He is not a trail blazer and this poem is not moralistic.  Again, the paths are virtually the same.

The speaker in the poem thinks about how he will one day use this decision to play the wise old man.  He will claim that the two paths were different, and that choosing the less-traveled path made all the difference.  He will rewrite the incident for the purpose of telling tales when he is old:  like one tells a story of how big the caught fish was, etc. 

The poem is light-hearted.  If anything it makes fun of those who would proclaim having taken the unpopular road and having been unconventional. 

 

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James Kelley | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted March 15, 2010 at 11:57 PM (Answer #4)

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To me, Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken" addresses the ways in which we assign significance to our choices. The poem is indeed at least in part about the choice between two possible routes that the speaker walking along the wooded trail could take. At least two sets of details in the poem drive home the notion, however, that these two paths really aren't that different:

... the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black

Both paths, in other words, look both equally worn and untrodden. The human speaker, however, seems compelled to assign all kinds of meaning to this moment of being faced with two possible paths while strolling one morning through the woods and to attribute that paritcular choice to the individual. The final stanza drives this pont home with the repeated use of "I" and perhaps some gentle mockery of the idea of assigning all kinds of meaning to a simple walk in the woods.

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neal143khushi | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted October 22, 2010 at 9:50 PM (Answer #5)

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Actually, the poem "The Road not Taken" is one of Frost's most popular and controversial poems. On one level, it seems to express the Yankee farmer-poet's philosophy, on another, it seems to express the predicament of every man making a choice.

   The poet uses a familiar situation of the road that forks into two. The traveller has to choose between one and the other. Which road should he tread? Both the roads seem to be fairly good, though one is worn-out and the other is less frequented. In fact, he wants to travel both the roads, but he cannot do so. He decides to follow the less-trodden, unusual, off-beat path  which makes a difference. At the same time, he realises that it is not easy to decide which path is better. He doesn't evince any pride or satisfaction about his choice.

   Thus, the poem is less about making choice, and then after making a choice, the alternative seems to be as good as the chosen one.

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thelovelygirlygirl | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted June 22, 2011 at 5:49 AM (Answer #6)

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Actually, the theme of this tricky poem depends on our point of view. We can interpret this poem as highly inspirational, a poem in which the poet tells us not to take the well-worn, old path and follow others. He tells us to take risks and explore new horizons. Only then will we achieve true greatness & success.

Or, the other explanation is that both the paths were equally well trodden on. The poet just chose the 2nd path & moved on in his life. In the future, he just wonders 'what if' he had taken the other path.

I myself have to make a project on this poe, and this is the only reasonable explanation I could get.

CHEERS !!!!!!!!

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penemra | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted June 8, 2011 at 1:47 PM (Answer #7)

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The theme of this poem is the direction you take in life:
‘Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference’.

The theme of this poem is the poet’s inner conflict in dealing with difference:
‘sorry I could not travel both’.

The poem shows how difficult it is to make a choice:
‘sorry I could not travel both and be one traveller’.
The theme is that people would like to avoid decisions.

The theme of this poem is that people don’t like to miss out on possibilities:
‘I shall be telling this with a sigh
somewhere ages and ages hence’.

The theme of this poem is indecision:
‘Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same’.

The poet shows that human beings are never satisfied:
‘sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller’.

The poet shows his tendency to change his mind:
‘Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back’.

The poet values a fresh or individual approach:
‘having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear’.

The poet urges that people should be individuals and not follow the majority:
‘I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference’.

The poet shows that humans cannot fulfil their intentions:
‘I doubted if I should ever come back’.
Humans cannot control their destinies.

 

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sellygomez | (Level 1) Honors

Posted May 14, 2012 at 10:57 AM (Answer #11)

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Actually, the theme of this tricky poem depends on our point of view. We can interpret this poem as highly inspirational, a poem in which the poet tells us not to take the well-worn, old path and follow others. He tells us to take risks and explore new horizons. Only then will we achieve true greatness & success.

Or, the other explanation is that both the paths were equally well trodden on. The poet just chose the 2nd path & moved on in his life. In the future, he just wonders 'what if' he had taken the other path.

I myself have to make a project on this poem, and this is the only reasonable explanation I could get.

thenks

 

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angelsallu | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Honors

Posted October 15, 2012 at 8:37 PM (Answer #10)

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The poem "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost is about the *choises* that one makes in life. It tells about a man who comes to a *fork* in the road he is travelling upon. He feels *sorry* that he can not travel *both* paths as he must choose one. Frost uses this fork in the road to represent a point in the man's life where he has to choose the *decision* he wishes to take in life. As he thinks about his *trail* he looks down one path as far as he can see trying to *forsee* what life will be like if he walks that path. He then gazes at the other and decides the outcome of going down the path would be just as *pleaseant* .At this point he concludes that the *direction* that has been less travelled on would be more *rewarding* when he reaches the end of it. The man then decides that he will save the other path for another day, even though he knows that one path leads to another and that he won't get a *chance* to go back.The man then says that he will wonder what life would have been like if he had chosen the more walked path even though the path he chose has made all the difference.

I HOPE MY ANSWER IS FINE. KEEP GOING DUDE. MAY GOD BLESS YOU.

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sellygomez | (Level 1) Honors

Posted May 8, 2012 at 12:17 PM (Answer #8)

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hey guys

the central theme of the road not taken is about the decisions we take in life.the poet is face with a choice in his life as to which path he must choose in order to continue his journay at the end  the poet decides to choose the path less travelled nd is sure that at some point of his life he would be thinking what would happen to him if he chose to take the path more travelled .

    i know its not much.... but when i wrote this answer i was applauded.    if any mistakes pls pardon me.

            selena gomez

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sellygomez | (Level 1) Honors

Posted May 8, 2012 at 1:06 PM (Answer #9)

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hey guys im back

this is the continuation of the answer ......not exactly a continuation it is just the poem's important parts :-

sort of a summary.....

in this poemthe poet makes his way through the woods and stops at a part of the woods . the poet sees that the road through the woods was divided into  two roads . thus the poet is faced with  choice in his life. he keeps thinking about whether he should take the road less travelled or the one more travelled . he sleeps and when he is woken up by the sun's light he finds that no one had passed. finally he decided to take the path less travelled and makes his way through the woods.

   thanks ....... selena gomez (hope it helped)

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