In The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost, what has worn the road about the same (line 10)?

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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In The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost, the narrator is pondering which path is the best one to take as the road forks and he is really not sure which way will take him to where he wants to go. It is a very symbolic poem and Frost allows the reader to also contemplate his or her own "path." Trying to choose based on the physical appearance of the paths is proving more difficult than the narrator may have anticipated and he is trying to justify not only the path he will take but also his reasons for not taking the other path. It is important to the narrator to choose wisely, but in his attempts, he is forgetting to relish in his choice and is rather more pre-occupied with what he might be missing along the other path.

From Frost's poem, the narrator's indecisiveness is apparent and line 10 refers to something that "had worn them really about the same." Having made his decision, the narrator then reconsiders his choice which is based on the fact that the path he has chosen "wanted wear." On reflection, he has to admit that "the passing there" reveals that both paths are equally worn. In other words, line 10 reveals that the path that the narrator does not select has apparently had as much (or as little) wear as the other. So it is the amount of actual use which shows that even though the path he chooses "wanted wear," it is likely that there are as many people who have chosen the one path as have chosen the other. This suggests to the narrator that his choice may have been based on an inaccuracy and his confusion is apparent although he still insists that he has chosen "the one less traveled." 

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