The more well-worn path might well fall back on the notion of past precedence to convince the traveler that it is the more appealing path. It would likely argue that its popularity is reason enough to choose it; there is safety in numbers, comfort in conformity, and an implicit endorsement...
The more well-worn path might well fall back on the notion of past precedence to convince the traveler that it is the more appealing path. It would likely argue that its popularity is reason enough to choose it; there is safety in numbers, comfort in conformity, and an implicit endorsement from that the fact that so many others have preferred it. All these factors must mean that it is superior. There would certainly be fewer surprises and less danger present on it. To be obedient and willing to follow others with more knowledge than themselves is appealing to certain personality types, and this path would work to appeal to that.
The road less traveled would likely to try to appeal to the traveler's desire to be a nonconformist. It would aver that to be an adventurer is braver and more desirable than being a spiritless follower of others. To have a person who has taken the less worn road report back that it has "made all the difference" might make people who are looking to make a change in their lives choose it because they, too, want to experience a life with fewer certainties and more opportunities. They want the opportunity to be surprised and perhaps delighted by what they would find along a less populous path.
If the first road could talk, I think it would beckon the traveler who narrates the poem, extolling its virtues, such as how "far" one can look down the path it takes. The road evidently extends for some way until it bends into "the undergrowth" and disappears from view. The road might tempt the traveler with its mystery, bragging that its destination is worthwhile and wonderful and that it will be all the more interesting because it will be a kind of surprise. The road might point out that its leaves have not been "trodden black" and offer itself as a sort of golden road, covered with the yellow leaves which have fallen from the trees. It might even suggest that the traveler should try it because one never knows if one will get another chance.
If the second road could speak, it too would beckon the speaker, touting how "grassy" it is and how much it "want[s] wear". It might also point out how "fair" and attractive it is because it is so grassy. It, too, would likely point out how its leaves have not been blackened by the footsteps of other travelers that morning and how it offers a sort of beautiful, golden route as well. Neither road could brag that it has been taken by fewer people, however, because the speaker says that "the passing there / Had worn them really about the same."
To persuade effectively, each road would want to use ethos, logos, and pathos, the three pillars of argument. Ethos is credibility, logos is logical appeal, and pathos is emotional appeal.
As for ethos, a big part of the traveler's problem is that each road draws him. Each has the kind of character that appeals to him; each is a credible road to journey down. He doesn't look at one road and say "that road scares me: I won't go there."
Since ethos isn't helping, the traveler must rely on logos and pathos. In terms of logos, the first road might logically say: "I am the road that everyone picks; logically speaking, I take people to a more a more desirable or practical place."
However, still logically speaking, there isn't very much difference between the two roads: one is less traveled, but not by much. The narrator states:
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
In the end, it comes down to pathos or emotional appeal. The more traveled road could use the appeal of popularity and the security of following the crowd. This is called bandwagon appeal. The less traveled road could use the appeal of being different and exotic, of standing apart from the crowd. In the end, the appeal of being different tugs more strongly at the narrator's heartstrings, so that is the road he takes.
This is a great assignment! Your task is to think about how each road would attempt to attract people to choose it as the best path for continuing their travels.
The first road would probably focus on explaining to travelers that more people had chosen to use it. The road might talk about some beautiful sight that is hidden from view where the traveler stands right now, just beyond the place where the road "bent in the undergrowth."
The second road might encourage travelers to take it because it had not been used as often. This road might even beg people to use it, enticing them by pointing out that "it was grassy and wanted wear" and explaining that the traveler would have more peace and quiet along its route.
Both roads might conclude their sales pitch by telling the traveler that s/he could always return another time and try the other road, even though the traveler (narrator) "doubted if I should ever come back."
This is a cool writing prompt, and it sounds like something from a creative writing class. There is no single correct way to answer this question; it is completely up to you. You are welcome to have the roads be logical, passionate, angry, sarcastic, snarky, insulting, or anything else. That's probably the most frustrating part of this assignment. It's wide open, and that can seem daunting to a lot of student writers.
My recommendation is to pick someone you know and have that person "be" the road. For example, I know someone that likes to throw around his huge vocabulary. I could have the road not taken be him. That's why nobody takes that road. The huge vocabulary is annoying and unwelcoming.
If you don't want to base a road off of someone that you know, then I think it would be a lot of fun to base the road off of a grossly overstated stereotype. Have one road be a Southern California "surfer dude," and have the other road be the "dumb blond valley girl." They could banter back and forth and use the words "dude," "like," and "man" a lot.
You could have one road that appears more well-traveled throw in some peer pressure and the bandwagon technique (e.g., "See, everybody else uses me for their road of choice . . . "). The other road could respond by stressing the importance of being an individual and emphasize the importance of "going your own way."
This is an assignment from a teacher who wants you to examine the poem closely and clarify what Frost means by this metaphor. It would be inappropriate for some professor to do the analysis for you, and frankly a waste of your tuition money. Read the poem over several times and then ask yourself how the two choices are different and what Frost may have meant by the last line of the poem. Is one road safe and the other risky? Is one road “seeable” and the other obvious? Etc. Have fun. This is your education.