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Significant Decisions: A Comparison of “The Road Not Taken” and “The Choice”

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Have you ever made a life-changing choice that you could not make again? The poems “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost and “The Choice” by Dorothy Parker both deal with these kind of decisions. Although “The Road Not Taken” and “The Choice” both focus on critical decisions, “The Road Not Taken” focuses on a choice the narrator makes between two paths of life that he satisfied with while “The Choice” focuses on a choice the narrator makes between two potential partners that she regrets.

Both “The Road Not Taken” and “The Choice” have narrators who make important decisions that they can’t make again. It is evident that the narrator makes a choice in “The Road Not Taken” on lines 1 and12-15, ” Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…..In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I marked the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way. I doubted if I should ever come back.”(Frost 44). Line 15 of “The Choice” states, “I took you, and I let him go”(Parker 48) which reveals the narrator made a decision. The narrator in Parker’s poem has an important decision because who you marry determines a lot that happens to you for the rest of your life. Parker also states that the narrator “let him go” which implies that the narrator cannot take that person back again, making the change permanent. The decision the narrator of Frost’s poem makes is important because as he states in the poem, ” I doubted if I should come back.”(Frost 44); meaning he can’t re-decide his path. The poems “The Road Not Taken” and “The Choice” are similar because they both center around important decisions the narrator makes.

“The Road Not Taken” concentrates on the narrator’s decision between the conformist and non-conformist paths of life. Line 18 and 19 of this poem says, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by And that has made all the difference.”(Frost 44). The two roads mentioned represent the non-conformist and conformist options in the narrator’s decision. When the narrator says he chose the road less traveled by, he is trying to state that he did things in a non-conformist way and chose a unique avenue of life that he is happy with as evident in the phrase, ” And that has made all the difference.” (Frost 44). “The Road Not Taken” focuses on the narrator’s choice to live a unique life that he is content with.

Unlike “The Road Not Taken”, “The Choice” focuses on the narrator’s regretted choice between two potential partners. She says,” I took you, and I let him go,-Somebody ought to examine my head.” (Parker 48). The narrator of this poem’s choice is evidently between two partners when she says “I took you, and I let him go” (Parker 48). She also regrets this choice because she says, “Somebody ought to examine my head”. “The Choice” and “The Road Not Taken” have similar decisions but very contrary outcomes

In conclusion, “The Road Not Taken” and “The Choice” are very similar, but have a few differences. Both “The Road Not Taken” and “The Choice” center around important decisions that the narrator makes. “The Road Not Taken” is different from “The Choice” because the narrator is pleased with his non-conformist choice between two paths of life. However, the narrator in “The Choice” regrets her choice between two potential partners.

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