In "The Road Not Taken," what do the two paths symbolize?

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"The Road Not Taken " states that the two paths are just that: paths in a "yellow wood," one of which is more grassy and "wants wear." Typically, the symbolism is for choices in life that will have a profound effect on the future. The narrator is faced with...

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"The Road Not Taken" states that the two paths are just that: paths in a "yellow wood," one of which is more grassy and "wants wear." Typically, the symbolism is for choices in life that will have a profound effect on the future. The narrator is faced with two major options, each of which is "really about the same," but one of which he thinks is the more unusual path. Deciding to take the path "less traveled," or the path that most people avoid, the narrator muses that he might regret his decision later on. Since hindsight only comes from experience, the narrator cannot second-guess his choice now; in the future, he might look back "with a sigh" and wish that he was able to take the other path instead. Major decisions in life often lead to regret or second-guessing in hindsight, but at the moment of decision, one can only "look down the path as far" as possible, trying to predict if the decision will be the correct one. Without the power of prophecy, though, the narrator can only make what he thinks is the best decision at the time, no matter what happens in the future.

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