Please comment on Frost's use of the image of the road.

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chsmith1957 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Frost uses the scene of the two roads as a metaphor for decisions made in life. A metaphor, you may remember, is a comparison of one thing to another, often by saying that they are the same. The “two roads” here can easily be interpreted as two different jobs to take, or two different colleges to attend, or two different places to live, or even two different individuals with which to have a relationship. The viewer has to decide which one to take. This act involves comparing the two, with their advantages and disadvantages, as far as one can tell from this point in time. But just as in the poem, we can’t see very far down either road; we unfortunately don’t know all of the ramifications and what may lie ahead for either choice. The use of this metaphor makes the poem all that more compelling and relevant to just about any reader. We have all faced the making of such decisions. And it’s frustrating, not to be able to immediately know the consequences of our actions. This is a scene that speaks to “everyman.” And naturally, the paths we choose will make “all the difference,” one way or another. This is real life.

user4455693 | Student

Frost created simple but vivid imageries in the poem. The metaphorical roads in the poem represent choices to be made throughout our life and we are travellers of our life-journey. As travellers, when we get to a fork of two roads, we often consider by which way we can get quickly to our destination,in other words, which way is longer or shorter. Another point we often consider is whether it is rocky or winding. Likewise, in our life, we often think deeply before deciding which way to take, which way to follow.The description of roads in line 4 and line 5 is a metaphor for the future. We can only see  our present situation but not the future. For example, in our country, the job of a doctor was once very popular with high school students. Most tended to join university of medicine. But now, there are many doctors in our country and is not as popular as before. To make a living as a doctor became more difficult. What I want to say is we can't know what will happen in our future as we can't foresee when we will die. We can only make decisions according to present situations which we can consider. We can only know whether they are right or not after we have trodden the road we took to the end. It is really a good, beautiful imagery, which can vividly reveal the theme of the poem, making choices.

ksraa | Student

Frost has used vivid imagery to describe the two roads. They represent the two choices placed before us at several instances of life. At that moment we analyse both and weighing the pros and cons, make our decisions.

Read the study guide:
The Road Not Taken

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