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William Stafford “Traveling Through the Dark” & Robert Frost “the Road Not Taken”

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In Robert Frost “The Road Not Taken” we can see how many different aspects of life decision making comes in the form of symbolisms. “Two roads diverge in a yellow wood. And sorry I couldn’t not travel both” This showing use how unwilling the character is of not making a right decision, this is centered on how life can come with certain choices one must make but is very unclear on how to. People always want to have everything at once but it is to show that it is impossible to have it all at the same time.

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The contrast completely with William Stafford “Traveling Through the Dark” where even if a stranger is killed; the perpetrator knows what he has to do and how he takes a decision when the events occurred. Although making the right choices in life is not always easy. The literary works of Robert Frost’s “The Road not Taken” and William Stafford’s “Traveling through the Dark” are about making life decisions and the lessons learned as we travel though life’s journey.

This is all connected to us as readers one way or another if it is taken from a personal point of view. In William Stafford’s poem “Traveling through the Dark”, the speaker is faced with making a morally tough decision, and with hesitation, he decides to do what is right. The meaning of the title suggests that the narrator is trying to make a difficult decision. The title of this poem suggests a normal everyday occurrence. Even when the finding of the dead deer is discovered it is not portrayed as a traumatic or the narrator proceeds with his unfortunate task.

When he approaches the scene notices that the deer has a big belly meaning that she was about to give birth to a baby deer, at this point the narrator puts the main character in a tough decision making time just like life would be. In this moment he stops, being distraught by the decision he has to take. This is a very clear statement of the poems facts; except that hesitation can hardly be rendered as distraughtly on the speaker’s part.

In life people often unexpectedly face crisis which puts to test our moral sensitivity. An analysis of the poem’s “plot” the poem opens with the speaker finding a dead deer on the side of the road. Instead of swerving and avoiding the deer the speaker pulls over to move the deer off the side of the road. The speaker discovering of a dead deer is not given as a traumatic or yet an unknown experience. – “it is usually best to roll them into the canyon. The narrator sees this as a normal everyday occurrence and not something that could disturb him or anyone else for that matter, this is not seen unusual but there are sometimes moments in the middle of the ordinary which exceed the ordinary and bring us to a place we would never have thought we would be in. Not everyone has the moral capability of stopping to think of the consequences but this is one of the main points or facts of the poem. “Beside the mountain road I hesitated,” what has stopped him in his intended path?

We know that he is stopped by the life inside that run over deer of an unborn baby deer. This series of events are what shows how the author indents the importance of moral values and how life can take an unexpected road. As given in the literary work or “Traveling through the Dark” as the light on the other side of the tunnel may be dark but it does not mean that one should not take the easy path of just driving away without looking at the consequences that life can bring you.

Now that it is seen how William Stafford “Traveling Through the Dark” reflects on the reader we will see how Robert Frost “The Road Not Taken” contrast from it but shares most of similarity. In one of the stories the person stumbles upon a problem that makes him take a harsh decision and the other one even if it is not a harsh decision it is a problem that all of us stumble upon at least once in our lives. In Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” a traveler looks back at a time in his life when he must choose between two paths at a fork in the road and chooses one path over another.

Choosing between two roads is used to symbolize the decision making situation and the feelings he has when he makes the wrong decision. Frost calls the poem “the road Not Taken” to suggest that once a choice is made between two equal choices, the tendency is to dwell on the choice not made. The title of the poem immediately suggests that the speaker is focusing not on the choice he did make long ago, but on the road he chose not to take. The poem’s language supports this interpretation.

Frost begins his poem with the speaker recalling that “Two Roads diverged in a yellow wood” and saying that he is “sorry he could not travel both. The point of view Frost uses of the two roads diverging is a metaphor for the choices a person has to make over the course of a lifetime. The roads in the poems are choices or decisions. “Way leads onto way” suggests that one choice leads to other choices. The two kinds of sighs in the poem are a sigh of relief and a sigh of regret.

Frost names the poem “The Road Not Taken” rather than “The Road Taken” to suggest that once a choice is made between two equal choices, the tendency is to wonder about the choice not made. When the speaker tells a story about a decision he made long ago and the regret he feels about making an irreparable wrong decision. In the first stanza of the poem, the speaker while walking in the woods must choose between two paths that head in different directions.

When the speaker was young he did not notice any significant difference between the two roads, or life choices, and he says that he was “sorry I could not travel both”. The word “sorry” helps establish the tone of regret. The speaker in the first stanza and the beginning of the second, one road seems more preferable; “because it was grassy and needed wear”. However, as the poem progresses he reconsiders and sees both paths as roughly equal: “And both that morning equally lay”. The speaker tries to reassure himself that he will return someday and walk the other road; “Oh I kept the first for another day”.

In line 15, the speaker returns to his original tone of sorrow and regret; “I doubted if I should ever come back” he realizes that he probably will never return to walk the alternate path. He considers how the choice he must make now will look to him in the future; “I shall be telling you this with a sigh” believing in the future that he will look back and realize that he did take the “less traveled” road after all; “I took the one less traveled by” but regret with a “sigh” that the road turned out to have “made all the difference” in making his life unhappy.

The speaker believes that he will later regret having followed his chosen road; “I shall be telling this with a sigh”. All the statements lead us to believe that Frost intended this to be a reflection of how one must choose in life and whether or not we take the right one will in the future make us think about the decisions we have made in life. How life can be impact and how can one change trough the decisions we take.

The uncertainty and darkness of the path we choose and the unclear events that may or may not come from them. In conclusion, both William Stafford “Traveling Through the Dark” & Robert Frost “The Road Not Taken” share the same ideas and can be compare as to what decision making is and how life decisions can impact your future. Both tittles are suggestive of moving forward and remembering how life works in mysterious ways. One may say that even if you have taken the correct road, is it the correct one?

Cite this William Stafford “Traveling Through the Dark” & Robert Frost “the Road Not Taken”

William Stafford “Traveling Through the Dark” & Robert Frost “the Road Not Taken”. (2016, Sep 29). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/william-stafford-traveling-through-the-dark-robert-frost-the-road-not-taken/

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