The Road Not Taken is about someone who comes to a place where two roads go in different directions. They have to pick one path, even though both roads look the same. They choose the less-traveled path. In the end, they realize this choice changed their life, even though they’ll never know what would’ve happened on the other road. The poem talks about how our choices shape our lives.
The Road Not Taken Summary
The Road Not Taken Introduction:
This poem is based on a very common experience. A traveller was going through a forest. He reached a point where the road diverged in two directions. Both the roads looked equally attractive to the traveller. But he decided to take the one that did not show much sign of having been used. It is true that if he had chosen the beaten path (much used road) he could be sure of reaching somewhere.
He would not have faced many difficulties in life. But he took the one less travelled by’ and that has made all the difference. The poet suggests that the choices which one makes in life are for good. One cannot turn back and make a second choice regarding one’s goal in life. Therefore, one should be very careful in making the choice. He also suggests that by choosing the ordinary course in life, one cannot hope to become extraordinary.
The Road Not Taken Summary in English
In this poem the poet brings out the importance of choice-making in one’s life. He says that choices cannot be changed. They have a very far-reaching influence. They influence the whole course of man’s life. Another idea brought out in this poem is that one can’t achieve extraordinary things by taking an ordinary course. Only very ordinary men follow the beaten paths. Great souls always prefer to tread new paths. The poet illustrates this idea with the help of a very common experience.
Once the poet was travelling through a forest. He came to a place from where the road branched off in two directions. It was not possible for the poet to travel by both the roads at the same time. He had to choose one of the two. The poet stood there and thought for a long time.
One of the roads was visible to some distance. It meant that the road had frequently been used. The other road was overgrown with grass. It meant that this road had not been used much. The poet decided to go by the second road. He kept the first one for another day.
Summary of The Road Not Taken
The poet imagines a time many ages hence. He will then be in some other world. He will then recall how he had decided to travel by the less-frequented road. This choice had made all the difference for him. It affected not only the future course of his life on this earth but also his spiritual course after death. Thus with the help of symbols the poet brings out the idea that man has to choose between the roads of materialism and spiritualism in his life. The choice once made is for good. It cannot be changed later.
Past and Present Summary