Robert Frost - Part 2
The poem is known to everyone as a poem that tackles a person’s decisions in life - Robert Frost introduction. At some point, this idea of not conforming to the norms and conventions of the society has become the poem’s popular meaning for most of us.. The truth is, the poem has had this image and reputation ever since it became mainstream. However, there is more to decision-making and non-conformity in this poem. More to this, it talks about life and how it should be lived. It comments on the nature of living: that it is not as simply as one, two, three; that it is not all about certainty; that it is full of the unknowns; that happiness, joy, and fulfillment lie on surprising and trying out new things; that those who triumphed are those people who are not afraid to try and face the unknown just like the persona in the poem.
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The poem is narrated by a persona who is in the midst of traveling in the wilderness. It is possible that the persona is not familiar with the route that he is taking. However, he still persisted on going. He was doing fine until he was confronted by two roads that “diverged in a yellow wood (Perrines 725)”. He seemed to want to travel both roads but he had to make a choice. He admitted to himself that he cannot travel both. At first, he was inspecting the two roads on which he thinks is a comfortable way to go. However, he decided to take the other one which may not be comfortable but should be exciting. He took the other road which he thinks should offer him new experience. He thinks it was not the kind of road that one would want to embark. After he took the road, he finally realized that it was wearing him out. Probably because he was just not used to the road. He now began to have cold-feet on continuing the journey. As a matter of fact, he is now considering if he should go back and take the road that he thinks would be comfortable. Fortunately, he did not. In the end, he is proud of what he did. This is because he learned something new and beautiful when he took the road “less traveled by (Perrines 725)”. The poem does not say or elaborate the exact outcome of the travel but it is understood to be successful because there was no sense of regret at the end of the poem. The persona seems to be happy with the outcome of his decisions.
In life, the poem comments on how we are always bombarded with different options from time to time. In these instances, its seldom that we always know what to do with our lives and what option to take. Almost always, we are confronted by uncertainties and the unknowns. However, the persona taught us the value of trying and not being afraid of confronting what it is that we do not know. Moreover, we learned from the persona that uncertainties are not always dangerous. We also learned from the persona that happiness and fulfillment lies in trying new and fresh experiences.
The title is emphasized so that readers will know the theme of the poem: that is, life is full of uncertainties and it is only through these uncertainties that we are able to discover new things that will make us happy and fulfilled. The road is emphasized because this is where the main action is happening. The message is cloaked in a metaphor that has something to do with traveling. The idea of discovering and trying new things is part of the journey of the persona. The setting is also very important because it suggests wilderness that adds to the uncertainty of the persona.
As already said, there is more to the poem than just non-conformity as it has become to mean in the popular sense. It suggests life in itself as a journey and as learning. Happiness is something that is acquired only if people would walk out their comfort zones and discover new things along the way. This can only be possible if one is brave enough to face the unknown and take “the road not taken”.