what is robert frost's philosophy in the poem 'road not taken'?  

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lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In "The Road Not Taken," Frost's philosophy is that the road he took has made all the difference. He did not take the other road. And while he may be telling his story with a sigh at not having taken the other road, he is satisfied with his choice, claiming it has made all the difference. 

Frost took the road less traveled by. He chose to be a unique individual, a nonconformist. He took the road that was less popular. He chose to strike out on his own. He chose to be separate from the others. His philosophy is that he may have regrets, but all in all, he feels he made the right choice and claims that the road less traveled by has made all the difference in his life. 

"Long [he] stood" at the place where "two roads diverged." And sorry that he could not take both roads, he took the other road.


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then, he took the road less traveled by. And though he shall be telling this with a sigh, he feels confident that he took the road that 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.

shraddha0070 | Student

PHILOSOPHY----Human life is such a complex web of events and relationships that it becomes almost impossible to predict  the far reaching consequences of our actions. A small change at one place in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere, says the butterfly effect. So, is it really possible for us to forsee what would have happened if we would have follwed the road not taken?

And if it is not really possible to anticipate the outcomes of the road, is it even worth our time to contemplate the possibilities? 

Once the choice is made, it is made(unless we have an option to backout and start over). What then makes a difference is what we do on the road taken. As far as the "road not taken" is concerned, we'll never know... 

yousawinner | Student

Frost seems to be emphasizing that one should be aiming for something extraordinary, and that the decision that one makes can change their lives for the better. There's also a bit of carpe diem - seize the moment - as a theme in the poem. That if an opportunity is availed to you, do not fail to accept it and try to move on with your choice and discard all thoughts of regret.

Many people have the idea that The Road Not Taken is a nice poem about being different and taking the road that no one else takes. About nonconformity, about being unique. However, if one of these ignorant people took one close look at the title, they’d realise they’re wrong. This poem is called The Road Not Taken. Not, meaning the person in this poem didn’t take a road.