Examine how  "The Road Not Taken" promotes individualism and non-conformity.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Certainly, I think that the poem is read as a praise of individualism and non- conformity.  "The Road Not Taken" is one in which people can see a non-conformist element present.  The idea that the path taken "has made all the difference" would also attest to this promotion.  

Yet, I think that a secondary reading makes it difficult to see how the poem explicitly promotes individualism and non- conformity.  There is a very serious tone and a strong element of reflection in the speaker's word choice and syntax.  This makes it unlikely that the speaker is a proud and bold advocate of individualism and non- conformity.  Additionally, the speaker is more pensive about choices.  It is not as if the choice on which road to take was deliberated on the basis of how many others made their choice.  Essentially, two paths diverged in a forest and the speaker made a choice based upon what was in front of him.  The decision was not made in the light of being a non- conformist or an individualist.  The speaker made a choice and the "sigh" indicates that such a decision has made all the difference.  It is here in which there is lack of promotion for the cause of individualism and non- conformity in the poem. 

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