Critically examine the universal relevance of the road not taken.

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Life for everyone after childhood involves a succession of choices. These choices can be represented as crossroads situations. We all have to make decisions, and after we have made a decision we find that this has only led us to another crossroads. Some of our earliest decisions have to do with school. What will we major in? What courses will we take? Where will we go to college? Should we stay at home and not have to get a job? Or should we work parttime and have more personal freedom. Then when we are finally out of school, we have to decide on what sort of job to get, and this may involve deciding to move to a different city. Then many people have to decide about getting married, about having children and how many, whether to buy a house. There is never any end to problems involving the need to make decisions. For example, a man may be happily married and own a house and have a few children--and suddenly he is offered a promotion which will involve selling his house and moving to a different city. And there is almost always the danger of making the wrong decision!

Life is somewhat like a game of chess. Every move requires a decision. The game is nothing but a series of decisions, and once you have made a move you can't take it back.

Robert Frost's poem simply deals metaphorically with one crossroads situation in his own life. No doubt he had to decide on whether to live very modestly and devote his time to poetry or to move to a big city, get a good career position, make money, and live more comfortably. A lot of creative people are faced with decisions like that. He decided to live a very simple life as a sort of gentleman farmer and keep his mind free for his creative writing. It was a gamble, but it worked out for him.

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