Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken," can be understood in various ways. The mood, attitude, and mindset of the reader predispose their thoughts towards the poem's true meaning. The title of the Frost's poem suggests that it is about decisions and obstacles in life and how people should handle them. Frost is voicing his opinion, saying that whatever path or decision making we make or do, one day, will be the key factor in your future tomorrow and thereafter.
Almost every human being experiences life's bumpy road journey and Frost indicates in his poem that there are never just one single path to take; instead it is like a complex maze. A traveler comes upon 'two roads diversified in a yellow wood' (Frost 719). Frost indicates that it is a cross road in his life and he must chose one way or another. The option of choosing both roads is not there because it is not possible, so the traveler must decide how he wants to live the remainder of his life and choose that path. The traveler, still deciding on what path to take, states regretfully '...
Sorry I could not travel both paths' (Frost 719). This is a prime example of everyday life. It is nearly impossible to look into the future and see the end result of which path to take, and therefore makes it even more difficult of which life path to strive towards. By not seeing the future result in picking one road over another, the traveler wonders what he will be missing out. Frost is expressing a sign of remorse inside the traveler before the choice is ever made. The traveler feels that it is impossible to go down both roads in one lifetime, and is sitting down and viewing his options before he makes a decision.
When contemplating what decision to make the traveler wants to .".. Look down one path as far as I could," (Frost 719) attempting to see the future of the chose path and reap its benefits. The traveler must choose a way that will determine the rest of his life and the obstacles that are included with it. The traveler comes to a conclusion and chooses a path that gives him a better feeling about his future life journey. This certain path provided a more positive outlook because it is the one that 'was grassy and wanted wear' (Frost 719). The traveler chooses the path that only a few personas would dare to do.
Frost demonstrates the personality and the type of person the traveler is. The traveler is an independent person, who is daring, adventurous, and wants to explore the unknown. The traveler finds out that he is not the only one going this way, and that others have worn almost the same path. Frost is saying that both paths were equally taken by other people. Afterwards the traveler observes that '... Morning equally lay in leaves no step had trodden black' (Frost 719).
Frost is indicating that leaves had fallen and that when he says no step had trodden black, he is indicating that it has been a long time since someone took this path. Frost is indirectly giving a message that every individual can relate to in everyday life. Whenever anyone makes a decision, they feel that their choice is unique and that they alone are traveling that lifestyle. The traveler then voices his desire to travel both roads by saying '...
Kept the other for another day' (Frost 719). The traveler feels that he still has the chance to travel the other path that he did not chose earlier at another given time. The traveler understands that this judgment is not temporary but permanent. Frost indicates the travelers' worries about going back by saying he 'doubts if I should come back' (Frost 719). The traveler therefore realizes that his choice is a determining factor for the result of other decisions he makes in the near future. Frost is implying an important aspect about life's journey, saying that once you have made a decision on a certain life path, it is hard to turn back and undo any problems that occur thereafter.
The title of the poem comes directly from the road the traveler does not take. Frost once again expresses regret for the traveler near the end of the poem. The traveler realizes that as he is nearing the end of his life, he will have second thoughts or regrets about the decisions he made earlier. He has to realize that he cannot travel back in time, and take the one road he chose not to go down, and wonder how his life would have changed due to that path. However, through all the regrets and sympathy, the traveler remains happy and proud of his decision to pick the road he currently took. He realizes that the path he chose made him live his own unique lifestyle, and he should not be regretting not taking the other path which could have been more disastrous.
Towards the end of the poem even with the traveler not being fully satisfied, the decision of what life path to chose was made by himself only. Frost is adding another message about life's journey and decisions. He is saying that the traveler may have chosen the unpopular path, but he did what he wanted to do, and that made him into the person He is today.