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Stylistics - Coursework Example

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This work called "Stylistics" examines the stylistic elements of figurative language and modality and attitude in The Road Not Taken as they are utilized in masterfully establishing the need to make your own choices and decisions. From this work, it is clear that it’s important to not just understand the statement but to actually apply it to your own life…
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Extract of sample "Stylistics"

Download file to see previous pages Because of the poem’s timeless nature and influential position in the literary canon, its stylistic elements have been recognized as seminal. The juxtaposition of the examination of these stylistic elements functions to develop interpretations of the poem that are sometimes conflicting, yet aid in revealing the intentions and deep meaning of Frost’s poetic intentions.
The essential figurative language behind The Road Not Taken is the metaphor of a decision being made. Frost advances this metaphor by comparing the decision making process to, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood” (Frost, 1) It’s notable that Frost uses the ‘roads’ for his symbolic task over the perhaps more clichéd choice of ‘paths’, as it gives the poem an eternal quality that would have been lessened by a cheaper metaphor. It also lodges a certain mystery of life into the poem, as the metaphor is a somewhat cryptic reference to times of confusion. Frost then goes on to state, “I stood/ And looked down one as far as I could/ To where it bent in the undergrowth” (Frost, 3-5). Here, “bent in the undergrowth” symbolizes the limits on which the decision-maker can clearly distinguish the outcome of taking one choice over another. In the third stanza, Frost writes, “Yet knowing how way leads on to way/ I doubted if I should ever come back” (Frost, 14-15). This line is a metaphor for how one’s decisions determine their outcome in life and how once they are made it’s difficult to “ever come back.”
Frost makes great use of figurative language through nature imagery to illustrate the necessity of making individual choices. Speaking of the moment he decides to take the path less traveled the speaker states, “Then took the other, as just as fair/ And having perhaps the better claim/ Because it was grassy and wanted wear” (Frost, 6-8). Through the nature imagery of the condition of the road, Frost is stating that while both life paths are equally legitimate, or “just as fair” he chose his path based on his personal belief that it was the right choice. It’s significant that the speaker makes his choice not based on the physical conditions of the roads, as a first reading of the poem might suggest, but based on personal values and choice, “Because it was grassy and wanted wear.” The poem later states, “Yet knowing how way leads on to way/ I doubted if I should ever come back;” (Frost, 14-15) in effect, positively affirming the speaker’s resolve and personal choice. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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