Where does the traveller find himself ? What problem does he face ?
He finds himself at a place where the road diverged in two different directions. He couldn’t decide which way to go by.
Discuss what these phrases mean to you :
- a yellow wood
- it was grassy and wanted wear
- the passing there
- in leaves no step had trodden black
- how way leads on to way
- ‘A yellow wood’ : It means a forest where the foliage had turned yellow because of the autumn season.
- ‘It was grassy and wanted wear’ : It means that the road was overgrown with grass and had not been used.
- ‘The passing there’ : It means the people passing that way.
- ‘In leaves no step had trodden black’ : No one had yet gone by those two roads that morning. So the leaves lying on them had not been trodden black.
- ‘How way leads on to way’ : Every way leads on to some other way and so there is very little possibility of one’s coming back to the same way.
Is there any difference between the two roads as the poet describes them—
- in stanzas two and three ?
- in the last two lines of the poem ?
- In stanzas two and three, both the roads have been shown to be equally fair.
- In the last two lines, one road has been said to be less travelled by.
What do you think the last two lines of the poem mean ? Looking back, does the poet regret his choice or accept it ?
The last two lines show the importance of making a choice in one’s life. The poet had taken the road that was rather unused so far. And that has made for him all the difference. I think the poet regrets his choice of taking the road that was less travelled by.
Have you ever had to make a difficult choice (or do you think you will have difficult choices
to make) ?
How will you make the choice (for what reasons) ?
It is always difficult to make a choice when the different alternatives appear equally good. In such a situation I will not make any hurry in making the choice. I will consider every aspect. And when once the choice has been made, I will stick to it. I will have no regrets later.
After you have made a choice, do you always think about what might have been, or do you accept the reality ?
It is no good to think about what might have been. It is no use to think about what is gone and can’t be recalled. I always accept the reality and try to make the most of it.
Where was the poet standing ? Why was he puzzled ?
The poet was in a forest. He was at a place where the road diverged in two different directions. He could not decide which way to go by. So he was puzzled.
Which of the two roads did the poet choose and why ?
One of the roads showed some signs of wear. The other one was less travelled by. It was the second road that the poet chose. He chose it because he didn’t want to go by the trodden path.
Why did the poet keep the first road for another day ? What was the doubt in his mind about it ?
The poet was travelling alone. He couldn’t go by both the roads at the same time. Therefore, he kept the first road for another day. But he doubted if he would ever come back. He knew that one road always leads to another. Thus there was no possibility of coming back.
Give in brief the central idea of the poem, ‘The Road Not Taken’.
The poet brings out the importance of making a right choice. The correct choice can make one’s future. The wrong one can mar it. A choice once made can hardly be reversed later. Once the poet had to choose between two roads. He chose the one that was less travelled by. And that, he says, has made all the difference.