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Personal Choice: A Comparative Analysis - Case Study Example

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This paper "Personal Choice: A Comparative Analysis" compares and contrasts the theme of personal choice through this spectrum of investigation and situates the comparison within Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken, Alice Walker’s Everyday Use, and Emily Dickinson’s I Dwell in Possibility…
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Personal Choice: A Comparative Analysis
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Download file to see previous pages Published in 1915, the poem’s elements of individual freedom and choice owe much to the nation’s foundational thought that can be traced from Thomas Jefferson to the very core of Ralph Waldo Emerson and can even be seen to embody a European existentialistic spirit. Today, Frost’s poem represents us all, whenever we face the diverging paths in our own lives.

The essential symbolism behind The Road Not Taken is the freedom of choice. Frost advances this metaphor by comparing the decision-making process to, “Two roads diverged(ing) in a yellow wood.” 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. Frost then goes on to state, “I stood/ And looked down one as far as I could/ To where it bent in the undergrowth” Here, “bent in the undergrowth” symbolizes the limits on which the decision-maker faces when 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.” This line is a metaphor for how one ultimately possesses personal responsibility and how their personal freedom determines their outcome in life and how once they are made it’s difficult to “ever come back.”

Frost makes great use of naturalistic imagery to illustrate the theme of individual freedom and choice. 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.” 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.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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