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Deconstruction of Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Class 8 May 2013 The Road Truly Taken in Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” Hallmark cards and graduation speeches have taken Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” in its literal positive tone. They interpret the poem as an account of American autonomy, where people can make their own decisions and have the independence to pursue their dreams…
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Deconstruction of Robert Frosts The Road Not Taken
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Deconstruction of Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken

The road truly taken is the most popular one, not the road less taken, because people have no autonomy. They cannot choose the road they want, when they grow up living that only one road is acceptable, the masculine road to severe individualism, rationalism, and domination of the American Dream. The masculine speaker pursues the rough road of individualism. Individualism follows the ideals of independence. The speaker of the poem observes the two roads: “TWO roads diverged in a yellow wood,/And sorry I could not travel both” (Frost 1-2). The word “I” indicates the individualistic voice, wherein he is sorry that he cannot travel both, which means he will make the decision on his own. He does not consider other people or consequences because he thinks that he can do everything on his own. Moreover, individualism emphasizes individual reflection. The speaker thinks about his decision: “And be one traveler, long I stood/And looked down one as far as I could” (Frost 3-4). He stood on his own, and this is not only individualism because he is alone, but because he thinks for his own interests. He looks as far as he can, but he does so using his own thoughts and ideas. He appears to be focused on his own interests only. Furthermore, the speaker sees the undergrowth depicts the masculine-feminine binary. He says: “To where it bent in the undergrowth” (Frost 5). The undergrowth or bushes stand for women, through symbolizing fertility because of its ability to give life through food, but it is described as “undergrowth,” inferior to other kinds of plants. The speaker’s individualism leads him to seeing the road in one way, instead of multiple ways. He does not open himself to the possibility that the undergrowth is more than what it appears to be, that it is in its development, or maybe even developed, but undeveloped to the eyes of the dominant group. Individualism takes away people’s ability to see the strength of numbers, numbers of ideas and analyses. Aside from individualism, the speaker is masculine in that it emphasizes rationalism over emotions. Rationalism indicates finding the best way among all ways. The speaker describes one of the roads: “Then took the other, as just as fair,/And having perhaps the better claim” (Frost 6-7). The fair one is beautiful, so it is better to be walked on, but he chooses another side. But does he truly take the road less taken? He knows that the fair one is the better claim. It is what he wants to walk on, not the more difficult one. The word “Perhaps” does not show his reluctance for the easier road; it shows his hesitation for not taking the fairer road. Rationality emphasizes the better choice that gives the most rewards. The speaker depicts the beauty of this road: “Because it was grassy and wanted wear;/Though as for that the passing there/Had worn them really about the same” (Frost 8-10). The grass is inviting; it wants to be worn down. People are passing there, and it is the obvious choice with the least risks. Why would the speaker choose the other one, when people have passed one road and enjoyed it? It is irrational to not follow the road that the majority pursues. It is the best because it is the safest and most popular. Rationality judges this road as the winning road- the popular and convenient road of the American Dream. The rational speaker does not take the road les ... Read More
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