What does the poem imply about the speaker’s values?The Road not taken

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Doug Stuva eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Frost's "The Road Not Taken" is a lighthearted poem in which the speaker alters the details of his past for the purpose of entertainment.

In the final stanza, thinking of some future time, the speaker writes that he will sigh, as if he is getting ready to tell a white lie or a big-fish story.  He will say that once he took the less-traveled path--using this as metaphor--and that has made all of the difference in his life.

Notice that in the first three stanzas of the poem the reader doesn't take the less-traveled path:  the paths are basically the same.  But sometime in the future he will turn this to metaphor and make a good story out of it. 

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the overwhelming value brought forth in the poem is the realistic presence of choice. The choice made by the speaker becomes the central issue of the poem.  Through this, the reader can view that the challenge of choice is a significant value in the schematic of the speaker.  At the same time, being able to live with the consequences of one's choice is of significant value to the speaker, as well.  The speaker has to live with the decisions made, the reality forced by these situations and through this, the reader understands that these consequences and abiding by them is also of significant importance to the value system of the speaker.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To me, this poem implies that the speaker wants to be a rebel, wants to be someone who does not conform to society.  But the poem implies that this feeling is somewhat of a fake.

The speaker does not really feel that either of the roads is any different from the other.  He talks about how they are both just as fair and equally trodden.  Therefore, there is really no difference and he knows there is no difference.

Even so, he wants to pretend to be a rebel so, someday, he's going to talk about how the road he took was less traveled and he's going to pretend that his choice was important.

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The Road Not Taken

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