"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. -Robert FrostExplain the meaning and significance of the quotation by Robert Frost.

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lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the poem "The Road Not Taken," the speaker has a decision to make. Two roads diverged and the speaker must decide which road to take. He uses reasoning to help him make his choice. Both roads were fair, but one wanted wear:

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,

The speaker admits that he shall be telling this story through the years with a sigh. No doubt, it was a major turning point in the speaker's life. He had to decide which road to take. In life, the road is symbolic for a decision that the speaker had to make. He thought about the decision.

He understands how way to leads on to way, so there would be no turning back. Nonetheless, the speaker is still thinking about the road not taken, wondering what would have happened had he taken that road. Still he takes the less traveled road:

The road he selects is 'the one less traveled by,' suggesting the decision of an individualist, someone little inclined to follow the crowd.

In the end, the speaker feels he has made the right choice. Of course, he sighs as he tells his story for he could not take both roads. Ultimately, the speaker has taken the right road. In fact the speaker claims it has made all the difference:

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Read the study guide:
The Road Not Taken

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