In Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken," in what ways did the two roads differ and in what ways were they similar?

3 Answers

kiwi's profile pic

kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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The narrator explains that he wanted to take both paths, but time would not allow him to do this. Both paths were equally worn-

Had worn them really about the same,

The paths also appeared similar in that they had an equal covering of leaf-litter-

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black

The differences between the paths were, therefore, slight. However, the narrator took the path which appeared to have been less used: perhaps in a bid to experience events that fewer people who took the other path did-

having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,

The poet's final choice affects the rest of his life though, as a reader, we are not sure whether he regards the decision as a positive or negative one-

I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

 

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thanatassa's profile pic

thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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In "The Road Not Taken", the narrator is walking in the forest in late fall and comes to a fork in the road. 

Both of the two branches of the road appear superficially similar. There are no signposts to distinguish them. They are both dirt roads covered with recently fallen leaves leading through the woods, and both are infrequently traveled. Both roads are surrounded by thick undergrowth and have not been traveled that day, as the leaves are unbroken and still yellow, rather than bruised and blackened by feet or hooves.

The main difference between the two roads is that one of the two seems slightly overgrown with grass, a sign that it generally was less used, although the distinction is fairly slight, as Frost indicates in the lines:

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same

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meeenakshi's profile pic

meeenakshi | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

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The two roads appeared similar that morning bcoz both were covered with fallen leaves and had not been trodden upon.they were also similar bcoz at the passing they had "worn them nearly the same"

they appeared different at first bcoz one of the roads appeared "grassy and wanted wear"

it can be said that in the same way we also make choices in life some decisions are in the direction of the majority and others which only the bold and daring follow