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The traveler is forced to make a decision between the two paths, as he must decide which path to take.Thematically, the poem argues that no matter how small a decision is, that decision will affect a person’s life forever.The road in the poem’s title “The Road Not Taken” is contrasted between the road that is “the one less traveled by” (19).
The traveler finds it hard to decide whether to follow the more chosen path or the less traveled path. Therefore, he is “sorry” he “could not travel both/And be one traveler” (2-3). Decisions always have to be made between what path to travel.
A decision is made, and the road is followed, knowing choosing that road over the other and there is no turning back will alter ones life.
He chooses “the one less traveled by” (19), knowing that he will probably not be able to return.
But also knowing, if he did return, he would not be the same person by the time he came back because time will take him further into the future thus altering his path in life.
He regrets not being able to experience both paths at the same time.
However, the traveler has to make a decision about life: the decision of whether to follow everyone else and take the path more traveled by or to be a leader and choose his own direction.Frost uses this metaphor of the two roads diverging to establish the dilemma of the traveler having to make a choice in the poem and making choices in life itself.Frost creates the feeling of two roads diverging and leading in different directions and making a rational difference by his last line, “And that has made all the difference” (20).Nevertheless, when “Two roads diverged in a wood” (18) the choice of which road the traveler will take will make “all the difference” (20).It will make the difference between living a life of freedom and untouched, or a life of following in someone else’s footsteps, doing what is expected.There is a desire to be adventurous, yet we fear possible regret for ‘what might have been’. The literal situation of “The Road Not Taken” concerns a traveler who is faced with a very simple decision.The traveler comes to a crossroads in “a yellow wood” (1).On the particular morning, however, when the decision of what path to take is to be made, the roads appear to the traveler to be “really about the same/both that morning equally lay” (10-11).The two roads, equally laid, makes it difficult to understand why choosing a particular road will make all the difference.The poem is a learning experience: This chosen act of self and the entire course of life illustrated in Frost’s poem reminds the reader that life is not always a straight road.Everyone is a traveler on different roads and there is never just one road to take.