Is It a Sigh of Satisfaction or Regret?

“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost is a poem that is about dilemmas felt by most of us at some points in our lives. While reading this poem, I have been surprised because this is what I always feel when there is a dilemma in my life.

“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost is about a traveler who was standing in a yellow wood where two roads divided. As a traveler, he could choose one road. After analyzing both roads, he decided to go through second road keeping the first for future, even though he knew he would not be able to recede once he started walking through in the second road. Hence, while walking, he thought that he would reminisce about his decision on choosing road in future with a sigh of may be satisfaction or regret.

Readers have different opinions from their own perspectives about the last five stanzas of the poem. Some believe that the speaker’s sigh indicates his self satisfaction of being able to make correct decision on choosing road. Last two stanzas tell that it will make him different from others because he has chosen the road which fewer travelers have chosen. On the other hand, others claim that the speaker’s sigh designates his regret of not making the correct decision.

I am with them who think it is a sigh of regret. The speaker has observed both roads before making decision. He has analyzed both roads and has found that second road has looked better than the first one. The second road has seemed lively and wanting him to walk on. Moreover, looking at that road, it seems to the speaker that no one has walked on that road. Hence, he decides to walk through the second road. From my experience, I have learnt that things that lure us most of the time have bad effects upon us. For example, fast food such as burgers always engross us, but we know that junk food is not good for our health. Despite people eat junk food and suffer diseases in the long run. In the same way, this road has also lured him and as he has chosen it, I think he will suffer in the long run.

Besides, his assumption that no one walked on that road has turned out wrong and he has understood it while walking on the road. Thus, I think it would be the sigh of regret and he would appease himself by telling that he has chosen the one which contains less travelers although he has learnt from his experience that both roads have been walked by equal travelers, written in the 10th stanza of the poem.

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One Response to Is It a Sigh of Satisfaction or Regret?

  1. tdenkar says:

    Hi Nusrat,
    I liked the way you supproted your points saying that the speaker of the poem regretted for the choice he made. Yes, i do agree with you because the reason why he took the second path was becuase it was attractive and was less traveled by people. Most importantly, it was the appearance of the road that lured him to take that path. As a saying goes,”Dont judge a book by it’s cover.” Similarly, he might have regretted for the choice he made by judging the appearance of the road. However, it can be intepreted in the other way round. He might be happy with his choice. He might be telling us with a sigh of contention for the choice he made and that made his life alot different from the others. 🙂

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