Does "The Road Not Taken" connect with some aspect of life?Does "The Road Not Taken" connect with some aspect of life?

Expert Answers
Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Aspect" can mean the way something is viewed in the mind's eye. It can mean a particular feature of a problem. It can mean the way a problem is considered. So if this is applied to "life," you may be presenting life as a "problem" and aspect as a way of thinking about the problem (or a feature of the problem itself). Interesting. If so, the problem the poem connects with is how to decide upon our course in life (or how to perceive features relating to choosing a course). Frost's poetic speaker is faced with two divergent paths, a fork in the road. One fork is well traveled, a popular choice to make for a course in life. The other is less traveled; it is a more esoteric choice for a course in life. He chooses the one less traveled. Later in life, he reflects upon his choice and finds he is content with the choice he made; he is content with the aspect from which he considered and made his choice (or content with his understanding of the feature of life's problem he was examining and contemplating, i.e., considering). The application, then, is that when life presents itself as a problem, consider all the various aspects from which you might consider the problem--or that might be features of the problem--as they will lead to possible choices of solutions (or to possible ways to understand the problem).

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I believe that Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken" does connect with some aspects of life.

First, there are many times when we come to a fork in the road of our lives. It is at this point where we must decide which path to traverse. Many times, as the old saying goes, too many choose to take the path more traveled given it would seem to be the easier one to traverse.  Here, for Frost, both paths are overgrown and "wanted wear". For Frost, the decision lies simply which path to take first.

Frost decides upon one path, saving the other for "another day".  Therefore, Frost, as the speaker of the poem, decides to eventually take both paths to see where each will lead.

Many times in life, people choose to take the heavily trodden path (as stated before) only to come to the same fork later to make the wiser decision. Here, Frost recognizes that he must take both paths in his life- that he does not truly know when he will ever be back to pass along the other.

In the end, Frost recognizes that the less trodden path is the right one for his life. This ties into the old saying "the path less traveled" is the one to always choose. It may be harder to travel, it may contain more challenging obstacles, but it is the one in which a person comes out better.

Jessica Pope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I read that The Road Not Taken was written by Frost about a friend who was soon to off to war, and Frost felt that it didn't what path his friend took.

For me the poem is certainly vague but I gain from it that decisions are often times taken too seriously. Frost makes a point of pointing out the relative similarities of each path "and then took the other as just as fair" "though as for that passing there had really wore them both about the same". The speaker seems conflicted and almost haunted by the paths knowing he cannot "take both and be one traveler". This draws a strong connection to anyone who’s had to make tough decisions  and been left with wondering what if, but I think Frost highlights that sometimes that is unavoidable.



accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Absolutely. This poem is about the chain of causality that has led to us being the person that we are today. If we imagine a series of metaphorical forks in the road of our life, where we are now is the direct result of a series of choices, just like the speaker had to make in this excellent poem. What is most important to me concerning this poem is the way in which the speaker looks back with "a sigh" at the road he didn't take. All of us can be haunted by the thought of different lives we could have had if we had made a different choice along the road at some point. This is the aspect of life that this poem connects with.

lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I do agree that the speaker in Frost's poem is speaking of choices in life. Which path is the right path? No doubt, everyone has taken a path only to wonder what would have happened had we taken the other road. Truly, "The Road Not Taken" is really a poem about the the other road. The speaker is sighing because he did not take the other road. Perhaps, the path he took did not turn out exactly as he planned. Over all, life is filled with roads and choices. Sometimes we live to regret some of the paths we take. Then again, the road less traveled makes all the difference.

kiwi eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The poem is a reflection on past decisions and the implications of them. We often look back at events in our lives and make judgements on the quality of them using hindsight. In 'The Road Less Travelled', Frost takes us back to the decision regarding the path he should take and simply reflects that it was a choice in the past which made 'all the difference'. He does not attempt to explore what could have been, but what was. This is an important stance to take in life as we cannot change the past, only learn from it to map the future.

Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Poetry is beautiful in its ability to speak to different people in different ways. There is little doubt that this poem is about choices, reflection, and even regret. I agree with a previous post that this poem is, as its title suggests, a poem about the road NOT taken. We can never know exactly what would have happened if we had made different choices in life, so learning to be content with the choices we make is essential to living without regret.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To me, this poem connects with this aspect of life -- our capacity to delude ourselves.

The poem is about a person who makes a choice that was not really a choice.  The two roads were the same, but the speaker has convinced himself that his choice was some huge and important event.  I think that we humans are really good at doing this.  We tend to con ourselves into believing that things that aren't really that important are big deals.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I know there is some recent controversy about the meaning of this poem. To me, a poem means whatever it means to the person reading it. Poetry is about connection. Each person is going to connect to a poem in different ways. Personally, many of Frost's poems make me sad. "The Road Not Taken" is ambiguous. It's up to each person to interpret. You don't have to fall in line with what everyone else thinks it means.
lovemeone | Student

Tell about a time in your life you had to take the road less traveled?