Friday, December 09, 2022

The making of a fairy tale with a moral in Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken"

In a discussion today of Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken", a student (Noa) mentioned the poem's fairy-tale scenario of a transformative journey on a path through a forest. This, I noted, is in keeping with the popular understanding of the poem as having a moral: when faced with a decision at a potential crossroads in our lives, we should take "the road less traveled". But I also noted how the poem comes to that moral: when the speaker tells the story "ages hence", he will briefly hesitate ("and I— / I") and then turn his past choice between the poem's barely distinguishable roads into a fairy tale with a moral. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 9 December 2022)

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