Analysis Of The Road Not Taken By Robert Frost

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I have chosen the poem The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost for my deconstruction essay. Deconstruction can be referred to the ‘theory used in the study of literature or philosophy which says that a piece of writing does not have just one meaning and that the meaning depends on the reader’ (Merriam-Webster, 2014). I chose this poem as it very popular and its basic meaning is very famous. The deconstruction of the poem may provide a very different meaning to each reader. Derrida said, ‘In a language, in the system of language, there are only differences’ and that is certainly something to take into account when deconstructing this poem (Egs.edu, 2012). The reader must consider the many signs in the poem along with the oppositions provided, as it privileges one sign over another. This can allow the reader to interpret a sign and the systems they belong to, and therefore the meaning of the poem, as they understand it. The reader must note that ‘this poem begs us to misread it’ (McPhillips, 1986) so at every reading it is indeed possible for the reader to come up with a different meaning.
One must consider the historic significance of the poem to
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The scholar Frank Lentricchia referred to the poem ‘as “the best example in all of American poetry of a wolf in sheep’s clothing”’ (Fraser and Davidson, 2011, p28). By building a strong semiotic inventory, we discover how problematic it becomes to read The Road Not Taken as a poem about American Individualism and decision making (Fraser and Davidson, 2011, p28). ‘The ambiguous use of the word ‘difference’ ensures that the opposite reading always shadows whichever interpretive path we take’ (Fraser and Davidson, 2011, p28). Similarly, the sign of the ‘sigh’ can also take on two meanings. It is the reader’s own prerogative whether they read this sigh as one of contentment or one of

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