In Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken” there are many complexities that ultimately lead to the poem’s unity. At first glance this poem seems to be a very typical coming of age poem where the speaker has come to a major fork in the road and he must decide which path to take. At first glance this would be a very good statement to make; however, as the reader digs deeper and searches for the complexity and the nuances of the poem the original assessment seems to be shallow and underdeveloped. In order to truly appreciate this poem as a work of art, the reader must search for the unity and complexity within it, otherwise this poetic work of art will go by unnoticed and cast off as a coming of age poem and nothing else. There is a very
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The imagery used in this poem is unified and brings the thoughts full circle. For example, in the first stanza of the poem the speaker tells the reader of two roads, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood” and in the last stanza the speaker mentions them again, “Two roads diverged in a wood”. The idea of a wood or forested area is used throughout the poem and contributes to the theme of choice that is seen. In this wood, even the paths do not appear to be different, “Though as for that the passing there / Had worn them really about the same / And both that morning equally lay / In leaves no step had trodden black” (9-12). This image shows that the choice is not a simple one and cannot be decided by just a casual glance. The imagery used in this poem provides unity because it is the same image throughout the poem. Each image that the poem uses relates to the first and last images of a forest. It brings it full circle by mentioning at the beginning and at the end of the poem and shows that all these parts of each image contribute to a larger image of a forest. These images help to show the reader the difficulty in the decision that the speaker must make.
The tension in “The Road Not Taken” adds to its complexity. There are several situations in which tension is exposed. For example, the speaker immediately describes the conflict of choosing between the two different paths. The paths to choose from seem to be good choices at first glance, but the speaker knows that