A detailed analysis of the themes, structure, symbolism, imagery, abstract words, and rhyme scheme of Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken.”
The three-page student handout section, which has blanks which your pupils can fill in, is suitable as an in-class activity or for homework. Specific activities on imagery, rhyme, and vocabulary will give your students practice in these essential stylistic aspects, which are often neglected in the explication of a poem. An Answer Key is provided on separate sheets.
Not as part of the student handout are three pages of additional for-the-teacher notes on “The Road Not Taken,” including Frost’s own comments on his poem and textual information about it. This section also attempts to refute recent interpretations that there is a thematic disconnect between the first three stanzas and the fourth; e.g., one critic accuses the speaker of the poem as “lying” in the final stanza.
Finally there is appended a general discussion of Frost’s life and the overall themes and stylistic features of his poetry. Some of these comments you may wish to incorporate into your class’s discussion of “The Road Not Taken.”
Prepared by Professor William Tarvin, Ph.D., who has published many articles on literature in scholarly journals.