What is the point of Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken"?
While in TV commercials and greeting cards, Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" is treated as a straightforward exhortation to be non-conformist, the poem itself is more open to irony and parody than one might expect.
Part of the ambiguity of the poem rests in the tension between the title, "The Road NOT Taken" (my emphasis) and the concluding lines "I took the one less traveled by,/ And that has made all the difference." We are left to ponder what the real "difference" was between the two roads. it may be easy to assume that the concluding sentence is ending on an uplifting, positive reflection, yet the speaker confesses that in the future he "shall be telling this with a sigh," which could suggest either fondness or regret.
Frost is using the ambiguous meaning of words like "difference" and "sigh" to create humorous puns on the rhetoric of decision making. Instead the poem treats the choice of roads as just that -- a choice. We are not given a definitive answer about whether one choice is...
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