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Friday, April 24, 2020

Critical Appreciation of The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost

The Road Not Taken

Critical Appreciation of The Road Not Taken
Critical Appreciation of The Road Not Taken

Robert Frost is one of the finest modern poets in America and His poem "The Road Not Taken" is a masterpiece in the arena of American Poetry. He has been the most widely known and appreciated American Poet of the 20th century. He writes about familiar objects in simple way but his poems present a clash of ideas which we generally face in everyday life. 

Though the poems appear simple, the poet has some hidden message to communicate. There is always something more than the ordinary meaning at surface level. Thus, one can see layers of meaning in his poems. 

His poems talk about truth; and they bring out wisdom. Once Robert Frost himself wrote that, “My poems begin in delight and end in wisdom.” This is exactly true to the poem, “The Road Not Taken”. 

“The Road Not Taken” which appeared in his volume of poems called “Mountain Interval” in 1916. Owing to the undercurrent of troubled, combative and destructive spirit of his works Lionel Trilling hailed him as a ‘Poet of Terror’.

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Critical appreciation of "The Road Not Taken" -  

“The Road Not Taken” is one of the beautiful lyrical poems of Robert Frost. It projects a problem that is faced many times by people. It talks about taking a decision about choosing a career. The poet has expressed this dilemma through the image of two roads which are separate. The traveller has to choose one between them. 

It is really hard to decide which road he shall prefer to. How can one say that one road is better than the other? There are the questions majority of people have to face in life. The end of the road is the consequence of the decision.

The poet has brought out this situation where he has to select between two roads. The words “Yellow wood” point out to the season of autumn. Both the roads are equally attractive on that particular morning. Nobody had walked on it. So the fallen yellow leaves are uncrushed. It is difficult to take a decision for the traveller. 

The traveller thinks over it for a while to take proper decision even if the thought is there to have one road. But he wishes to travel by the other road also that is the road not taken. But there is realization that if it is not possible, he means to say that once the decision is taken, there is no retreat, no stepping back.

The consequence of decision will only be known as to whether the choice is right or wrong. He chooses thus the road which is less travelled by and “that has made the difference”. Though it may be lonely, difficult, full of hurdles, he would like to prefer something new. He would walk on that road which is not often used.

Conclusion - 

The poet would not be an orthodox, a conservative. He prefers to have an untrodden path. It might offer him something new and the charming. 

The poem "The Road Not Taken" attracts the attention of the reader for its intellectual appeal. Here lies a speciality of the poem of Robert Frost. Deceptive simplicity is the quality of “The Road Not Taken” of Robert Frost. 

Robert Frost has aptly been deemed as a ‘literary heir’ of William Wordsworth and Ralph Waldo Emerson’. Robert Frost wrote his poems in the vein of William Wordsworth and Ralph Waldo Emerson. He composed his poems about people, landscape and countryside in traditional style. Colloquial speech and traditional diction are yoked together in his poetry.  

Watch a video on "The Road Not Taken"  

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