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Imagery in The Road Not Taken

Imagery Examples in The Road Not Taken:

The Road Not Taken

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"trodden black...."   (The Road Not Taken)

The image of stepped-on leaves turning black represents the notion that the road less traveled is preferable. Taking the final couplet into consideration as well, the poem is commonly read as a testament to the unconventionally lived life. This reading is complicated, however, by the fact that the paths are the same and the leaves are not in fact “trodden black.”

"And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;..."   (The Road Not Taken)

The image of a path bending back behind the brush is a powerful image for the unknowability and unpredictability of the future. The speaker’s dilemma stems from his ignorance of where each path will lead. Although Frost warned in his writings that all metaphors “break down at some point,” this is a moment where the use of metaphor is apt.

"yellow wood,..."   (The Road Not Taken)

The “yellow” of the woods gives the scene an autumn setting. In this context, the seasons of the year may be read as a metaphor for the seasons of the human life, with autumn symbolizing midlife.

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