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road not taken

Why is it inappropriate to call Robert Frost's poem "The Road Not Taken," "The Road Taken," and how does the poem express the concept of a journey?


Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" uses the choice one makes when facing a fork in the road as a metaphor for choices one makes in life.  The concept of a walk, or journey, is compared to the "journey" of life.  The poem concludes:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

I suppose one could say it is inappropriate to call the poem "The Road Taken,"  because Frost emphasizes in his final lines that he didn't take the road the majority of people take.  The emphasis is placed on not doing what everyone else does.  Following the majority is the natural route for most people, and going a different route may take more of a conscious decision.  Yet, this is not really what the poem is about.  Frost's conclusion is his version of the road he chose when he will retell the story later.  Earlier in the poem Frost demonstrates that both paths were equally well-traveled.  The poem's speaker says he will edit/revise/elaborate, whatever, when he retells the story.

Of course, on a simpler level, it would be inappropriate to call the poem anything other than what Frost titled it.  The title demonstrates what Frost intended to emphasize.

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