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The Individual. High Language and Humor: Irony in Robers Frost's Famous The Road Not Taken - Research Paper Example

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Your Name Prof’s Name Date The Individual, High Language and Humor: Irony in Robert Frost’s Famous “The Road Not Taken” “The Road Not Taken,” composed by Frost in 1916, is, in many ways, a prototypical Frostian poem. It relies heavily on nature imagery, for instance, and like many of his poems, seems, at first glance, to be very heartfelt…
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The Individual. High Language and Humor: Irony in Robers Frosts Famous The Road Not Taken
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"The Individual. High Language and Humor: Irony in Robers Frost's Famous The Road Not Taken"

Download file to see previous pages The poem ends with the narrator evaluating his decision, concluding that he “took the road less traveled by / and that made all the difference” (Frost 19-20). This poem can fit itself to a wide variety of interpretations, from the literal, a discussion of paths, to the highly metaphorical, in which it would seem to be an analysis of the choices we make and the impact they have on our lives. The second interpretation can also branch off in a variety of different ways. While superficially, this poem seems to be metaphorically enjoining its reader to reject expectations and set off in their own direction; a closer analysis, however, indicates that this poem actually ironically criticizes such self-determination, making light of the claims everyone makes about the effect their choices had on their lives. One of the most popular interpretations of this poem is that of a heartfelt exoneration of the underdog, of the path that no one dares trod (Pritchard, 23). In that light, this poem seems to be rooting for the actor or musician who defies parental expectations by pursuing those careers over college, or that brave soul who is certain they can make their living through poetry. This interpretation largely rests on the final three lines of the poem: “two roads diverged in the in a wood, and I -- / I took the one less traveled by / and that made all the difference (Frost, 18-20). Frost does everything he can to make this declaration seem heartfelt and sincere. He uses the dash following the first “I,” and the repetition of “I” a second time, to show the speaker being emotional, so much so that he cannot quite get his words on the page properly (Parini, 83). With this eloquent construction, it is easy to see why the straightforward interpretation of “The Road not Taken” is so popular – upon one’s first reading, it seems like the only possible interpretation. A closer analysis of the poem as a whole, however, actually paint a starkly different picture. While the speaker indicates that he took the less used road, made a bold choice that was important to his life, the first and second stanzas shows a very different process happening. The man is faced with a decision, two paths, and he is forced to choose which. But, far from making a bold decision to go down one instead of the other, the speaker wishes that he could choose indecision. He says that he is “sorry [he] could not travel both [paths]” (Forst 2), essentially explicitly saying that he wishes he did not have to make life choices at all. So suddenly the bold decision maker vanishes, replaced by a character who suffers from indecision, wishing that he could coast through life without having to make decisions as to the destination. But even if the first aspect of the straightforward interpretation falls, there are still aspects of it that might remain. Even if the speaker did not want to make a choice, he might have made a bold choice once he was forced to. But even this aspect of the straightforward explanation fails to stand scrutiny. The speaker cannot see any differences between the paths, so he constructs some, saying first that one looks less warn, before finally admitting that it was probably exactly the same as the other path. So, even though he admits that it is impossible to see differences between the two paths, he begins constructing differences where there are none, and begins ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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