What is the theme of the poem "The Road Not Taken"?  Support your answer with information, opinions and quotes.

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timbrady eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I'm pretty sure I answered a question like this before, but I can't find it, so here goes.

This poem has often been read as story of a "decision point" in a person's life.  The poem states that the person "took the road less traveled by," but the facts of the poem belie that statement:

 

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; 5Then 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,

If they are worn about the same, then, the point isn't that one was "less travelled," but rather that, because the traveller is just one person, he cannot take both, so s/he must make a choice.  That choice will determine/influence everything s/he does for the rest of their lives.  We can tell ourselves that we will come back some day to try the other path,

Oh, I kept the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back

but it's not likely to happen.

So all our choices are important.  We may look back with a sigh some day, not of sadness, but simple of fact.  We have choices; we make choices; and our life flows from these.