Decribe the two roads that the author comes across in the poem "The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost.

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billdelaney's profile pic

William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The two diverging roads are evidently metaphorical roads leading to entirely different life destinations. Robert Frost was a poet, but like most creative writers he knew he would have a very difficult time earning a living by writing poetry. Many creative writers are faced with this same decision when they are young. They can live very simply, like Thoreau, and devote themselves to the work they love, or they can find some sort of hopefully palatable gainful employment and enjoy a more comfortable and more secure lifestyle but have less time to devote to their creative work. Frost chose "the road less traveled by," which meant living very simply in the country as a sort of gentleman farmer. The choice determined the subject matter that would appear in his poetry. The other road, the one the majority of creative writers end up taking, leads to such destinations as the business world and academia. T. S. Eliot, for example, worked in a bank; and literary journals are full of the writings of people whose biographies in the back pages show that they are teaching English or Creative Writing or something else. Whether Frost was "happy" with his choice is uncertain. He never seemed particularly happy but only moody and philosophical. His choice, however, enabled him to devote not only his time but his mind to his writing, and he became a famous poet who is often described as America's best-loved poet.

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shake99's profile pic

shake99 | Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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First, each road "The Road not Taken" is set in a "yellow wood." There is limited visibility, due to the the "undergrowth" in the area. Frost states at the end of stanza one that he . . .

looked down one as far as I could

to where it bent in the undergrowth.

This implies that the road is not straight and predictable. It is going to take him somewhere that he can't prepare for ahead of time.

In the second stanza, the speaker takes the other road, which is "just as fair" (looks just as good). It also appears to be less traveled because it is "grassy" and "wanted wear," meaning it hasn't been used very often.

Finally, he comes to the conclusion that the roads actually look about the same,

both that morning equally lay

in leaves no step had trodden black

which presents him with the quandary of indecision. There just doesn't appear to be any compelling reason to choose one road over another.

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meeenakshi's profile pic

meeenakshi | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

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the two roads are actually choices that life offers us at various stages or turning points.the two roads or choices may look the same at that point in time ,the whole road is not visible bcoz of the under growth ie the unforseen circumstances.the road is visible but not clesrly because there are fallen leaves which cover the grass also no one travelled it that morning.there is also a curve beyond which the roads are not visible.so the two roads appear same and what actually lays in store can be found only after walking on it.If one road is taken the other remains a mystery.

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