Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”: Regret in the Human Psyche - A Critical Essay
AbstractThis critical essay argues that Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken” is not a poem about taking a road less traveled but about regret and the state of the human psyche during the process of decision. Frost argues against indecisiveness and regret via the speaker’s battle to decide
between two virtually identical roads—neither one more or less traveled than the other. Readers should look beyond the last two lines of Frost’s poem in order to develop a structured perspective concerning Frost’s point. Historical contextualization provides readers with a sense of the biographical elements of the poem, written in 1916 and inspired by his friend Edward Thomas. Thomas was indecisive about which path to take when they both proceeded into nature for a walk, giving Frost a beginning for the speaker in the poem. Close analysis of each stanza, reveals that
Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” has psychological implications of regret and uncertainty regarding decision-making and provides a solution by having the speaker immediately imagining himself in the future romanticizing his choice.
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