How does the poet use symbolism to describe the directions?

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cldbentley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "The Road Not Taken," a well-known poem written by Robert Frost, the possible choices that a person may make in life are represented by a fork in the road he travels.  One path, "the one less traveled by," is described as "grassy and want[ing] wear"; the narrator tells that he looks down that he

looked down [the other] one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth[.]

In the end, the narrator realizes that taking the road that few others have chosen "has made all the difference."

The grassy, untrampled appearance of the second of the two choices of paths, is symbolic of a choice that few have made.  It indicates that taking that path means choosing not to follow the popular decision.  Had the traveller taken the first of the two paths, he would have done what most others did; he would simply have made the decision because it was what appeared to be expected.


bhawanipur | Student

In the poem 'Road Not Taken' by Robert Frost suggests that when we are young and energetic and looking for a road to take, we need to think deeply and decide one. Here the poet has used 'Yellow' symbolizes 'youth' and the world 'wood' symbolizes  a place having various unacquinted roads lead to unknown spots. When we are young and yearning to choose a path in our life to prove our talent and to earn a livelihood, we are like a stranger in a wood. Therefore, we need to think again and again like the poet, looking up to the road bent under the bushes.

Moreover, there are some roads which are less trod by visitors as the poet describes them as 'grassy and wanted wear'. Also, there are some roads continuously frequented by men. Before making any decision we must know ourselves.