Indecision may or may not be this man's biggest problem. All he can do is go left or right. It's not that big of a deal...or is it?
|American Literature||20th-Century American Literature|
All American Literature
|Author||Frost - Robert Frost|
Dreams, Hopes, and Plans
Man and the Natural World
you that Robert Frost’s famous poem The Road Not Taken is about exploring new trails
and challenging ourselves.
But is that guy in the woods really such a trailblazer?
He looks at one road, and it looks great…
…then he looks at the other, and it also looks pretty good…
…and he wishes he could just do both…
...and it takes him about two and a half stanzas to decide that they’re… really about the
…so if the roads aren’t all that different, and he doesn’t feel that great about his
choice… what’s this poem actually about?
The value of being… wishy-washy?
All right, you’ve probably got something in common with that guy who just can’t decide
what to do.
What are your roads?
Maybe you’re deciding between colleges…
You can go to a small private liberal arts school, with tiny class sizes and long class
…where you see everyone you know on a daily basis, and live a short walk from all your
…or you can go to a big school, have a ton of majors and classes to choose from…
…and be able to stand out when you want… or hide in the crowd.
Maybe that’s why Robert Frost’s speaker heaves a big ol’ sigh and just takes one
of the roads already…
…and then spends the rest of the poem thinking about how he could have taken the other.
So is this poem really about taking the path… less traveled… and never looking back?
Maybe it’s more about how hard it is to make a decision…
…but you still have to… ‘cause in life, you can’t do it all.
And it’s not like taking the road less traveled has made all the difference in a good way…
…it’s just that the speaker knows that if he had taken the other path, it would have
been a completely different experience…
…and it’s kind of a bummer that he can’t do both.
What do you think?
Is this poem about going after your dreams?
Or about not regretting your decisions?
Shmoop amongst yourselves.