person walking through a forest

The Road Not Taken

by Robert Frost

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In "The Road Not Taken," what reason does Frost give for choosing the path he chose?

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I think part of the point of this poem is that the speaker of the poem has to choose between two paths that appear to be pretty much the same to him. Note how in the second stanza he starts to say that one appears to be less travelled upon than the other, but then he goes on to contradict himself, sayikng that both actually look identical:

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same.

Frost seems keen to emphasise the way in which both paths are, to all intents and purposes, identical. The third stanza states that both paths had "leaves no step had trodden black." When we consider the allegorical meaning of this poem, it becomes clear why Frost emphasises the idnentical nature of the roads. Sometimes, we, when we have to make a decision about our future lives between one thing and another, do everything we can, like the speaker, to try and judge between the two decisions. We look down the path and consider whether the path has been travelled much or not. However, with a lot of decisions, we need to choose between two options that appear to offer no visible advantage or disadvantage to the other. We, like the traveler, have to choose one on impulse as it were, and accept that this choice may well have a major impact on our lives.

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