Are any of the words in "The Road Not Taken" used in an unfamiliar or unexpected way?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Here are some words in "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost that are used in an unexpected way for a modern audience:

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood" : The phrase "yellow wood" is figurative. If taken literally, it would mean wood that itself was yellow. However, by using this imagery, the unexpected phrasing instead calls to mind a forest in autumn, where the leaves and light have been turned golden by the season. 

"Though as for that the passing there" : This is an interesting use in that Frost uses a gerund, or a verb form of a word used as a noun, to refer to other travelers on the path. Instead of explaining that other people had used both paths, he makes the use of the paths a state of being that seems more like a natural event than caused by people. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial