The Road Not Taken – Beehive – Class IX – English – NCERT

The Road Not Taken
By Robert Frost

Image Reference: biography.com

P1: The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
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.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.

About the Poet

Robert Frost was born in 1874 in San Franscisco. He spent most of his adult life in rural New England. He attended Dartmouth and Harvard but never earned a degree. He attempted to write poetry while working on a farm or teaching in a school. American editors rejected his submitted poems. Frost moved his family to England in 1912 and the following year a London publisher brought out his first book. After publishing a second book, Frost returned to America and determined to win a reputation in his own country, which he gradually achieved. He became one of the country’s best-loved poets.

Summary

One day the poet comes to a bifurcation in the road and needs to decide which road he should take to continue his journey. One road was a beaten track. Many people had walked on it. It was lost in the small shrubs. The other road was grassy and seemed less trodden. Being adventurous in nature, the poet chooses the second road which was grassy and less walked on and left the first one for some other day.

1. Read the following extract and answer the questions given below.

Two roads diverged in yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth

Q. Where did the poet stand? What did he see?
Ans. The poet stood at a point where two road diverged in a forest. It was autumn and the leaves of the trees had turned yellow and were falling.

Q. Why did the poet stand there for “long”?
Ans. The poet stood there for “long” as he was thinking which road he should choose. The poet here is using ‘roads’ as symbols of choices in life one makes

Q. Why does the poet describe the woods as yellow?
Ans. It is autumn time and the leaves have turned from green to brown to yellow and the entire forest looks like this so he has described it as yellow.

Q. Why did the poet feel like travelling both the roads?
Ans. He wanted to do so because both the roads looked equally fair and promising.

Q. Why did the poet choose the other road?
Ans. He chose the other road because it was grassy, less travelled and wanted wear.

Q What was the doubt in poet’s mind?
Ans. The poet doubted if he would ever be able to come back to travel the first road.

2. Read the following extract and answer the questions given below.

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

Q. Which road did the poet take?
Ans. The poet took the other road; meaning the road that was not taken by most of the travellers.

Q. Why did the poet take the “other” road?
Ans. The poet took the road less travelled because it was grassy and wanted wear.

3. Read the following extract and answer the questions given below.

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

Q. What decision does the speaker take of the ‘first’ road?

Ans. When the poet sees two roads diverging in a forest, he decides to take the second one and leave the first one for some other day.

Q. Explain: ‘‘In leaves no step had trodden black.’’
Ans. It means that the leaves on the other road were intact. There were no marks that anyone had trodden on them.

Q. What doubt crops up in the speaker’s mind?
Ans. The poet was in a dilemma as to which road, out of the two, he should follow.

4. Read the following extract and answer the questions given below.

I shall be telling this with a sigh 
Somewhere ages and ages hence: 
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less travelled by, 
And that has made all the difference.

Q. Why does the poet say he shall tell people ‘this with a sigh’?
Ans. The poet wishes to walk on the road that he has not chosen, but he has accepted the fact that once a choice is made it is difficult to go back on it.

Q. What does the poet mean by “I took the one less traveled by”?
Ans. “I took the one less traveled by’ indicates that the poet made a choice not exercised by a majority of people.

Q. What “difference” has been made by his choice?
Ans. He is what he is today because of the choice he made several years ago. If he had chosen a different path, he would not be what he was today, he would have been a different person.Short and Long Answer Type Questions

Short and Long Answer Type Questions

Q. Describe the two roads that the author finds. Which road does he choose?

Ans. One day the poet comes to a bifurcation in the road and needs to decide which road he should take to continue his journey. One road was a beaten track. Many people had walked on it. It was lost in the small shrubs. The other road was grassy and seemed less trodden. Being adventurous in nature, the poet chooses the second road which was grassy and less walked on and left the first one for some other day.

Q. Why did the poet keep the first road for another day?

Ans. Once the poet had to make a decision as to which road he should travel out of two in front of him. He examines both the roads and finds the other road less travelled. He didn’t want to follow a beaten track and decides to take the other road and keep the first road for some other day. But somewhere in his mind, he is troubled with the thought that he may not be able to do so.

Q. “I took the one less travelled by.” What do we come to know about the poet from this line?

Ans. This line reveals the adventurous nature of the poet because when he had to take a decision of making a choice, he did not take the beaten track. He chooses the path which is not frequented. He decides to leave the first road for some other day knowing fully well that he will not get a chance to go back to it.

Q. Why was it so difficult for the poet to make a decision? Give reasons.

Ans. It was difficult for the poet to make a decision as he had no idea what any of them had in store for him. He was at a difficult time in his life, to remain in USA where he was not given recognition or to migrate to England. Only the future could tell. It was like taking a leap in the dark. Who could tell its result? It was difficult to say how he would be received in England as his experience of his birthplace USA was bitter.

Q. Write a brief note on the theme of Robert Frost’s poem ‘The Road Not Taken.’

Ans. The poem ‘The Road Not Taken’ is based on the theme of making a difficult choice which has a universal appeal. We regret in life when we do not make the right decision. Life is full of challenges and difficult decisions have to be made on which depends our future life and success.

Road is a symbolic word which stands for a choice. It is just not possible to make more than one choice, and to take both the roads. We have to make one choice, we have to take one road. While making our choice we do consider all the factors still it is not foolproof. So the element of regret remains which takes away our contentment. This is the great tragedy of life.

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