“The Road Not Taken” poem by Robert Frost is a popular poem taught in CBSE Class 9 English textbook ‘Beehive’. This poem presents a dilemma of choosing between two paths in life and has been a subject of interpretation and analysis for years. Here we provide answers to textbook exercises to help students better understand and prepare for exams.
Textbook Exercise Question Answers
Thinking about the Poem
I. 1. Where does the traveller find himself? What problem does he face?
Ans. The traveller finds himself in a yellow wood where two roads diverge. The problem he faces is that he cannot travel both roads and must choose one, which will determine the path his life takes.
2. Discuss what these phrases mean to you.
(i) a yellow wood
(ii) it was grassy and wanted wear
(iii) the passing there
(iv) leaves no step had trodden black
(v) how way leads on to way
(i) “A yellow wood” refers to a forest with trees whose leaves have turned yellow, indicating that it is likely autumn. The mention of the yellow wood sets the scene and creates an image in the reader’s mind.
(ii) “It was grassy and wanted wear” implies that one of the roads was less travelled and less worn, which suggests that it was less popular and less well-known. The grassy road seems to offer an opportunity for exploration and adventure, which is alluring to the traveller.
(iii) “The passing there” refers to the act of walking or traveling along the road. The phrase suggests that people have been passing along the roads for some time, which has caused wear and tear on the roads.
(iv) “Leaves no step had trodden black” indicates that the road that the traveller ultimately chose was not travelled, as there were no signs of previous footsteps or wear on the leaves. This phrase highlights the traveller’s decision to take the road less travelled, which has made all the difference.
(v) “How way leads on to way” suggests that each decision or choice that we make in life leads to another path, which in turn leads to even more choices and decisions. This phrase reflects the theme of the poem, which is the idea that the choices we make determine the course of our lives, and we cannot go back and change our decisions. The phrase suggests the importance of making thoughtful decisions as they can have a significant impact on one’s life.
3. Is there any difference between the two roads as the poet describes them
(i) in stanzas two and three?
(ii) in the last two lines of the poem?
(i) In stanzas two and three, the poet describes the two roads as being quite similar. One road appears slightly less worn than the other, but both roads are described as being equally covered in leaves and having been travelled similarly. The speaker says that he takes the second road because it is grassy and appears less travelled, but he quickly notes that both roads “had worn them really about the same.” Therefore, there seems to be little difference between the two roads.
(ii) In the last two lines of the poem, the poet suggests that there is a difference between the two roads, or at least that the road he chose made a significant difference to his life. He says, “I took the one less travelled by, / And that has made all the difference.” While the roads may have seemed quite similar at the time, the speaker’s decision to take the less travelled road set him on a different path that ultimately led to different outcomes. The difference may not have been apparent at the time of the decision, but looking back, the speaker recognizes the impact of his choice.
4. What do you think the last two lines of the poem mean? (Looking back, does the poet regret his choice or accept it?)
Ans. The last two lines of the poem suggest that the poet feels that taking the less travelled road has had a significant impact on his life, and he believes that it was a good decision. The phrase “And that has made all the difference” suggests that the poet feels that his decision to take the less travelled road has had a profound and positive impact on his life, and he would not be where he is today had he chosen differently.
The tone of the poem is reflective, and the poet seems to be looking back on his decision with a sense of satisfaction and perhaps even a touch of pride. There is no sense of regret in the last two lines, and the poem as a whole does not suggest that the poet wishes he had taken a different path. Instead, the poem celebrates the idea that taking risks and choosing the less-travelled path can lead to unexpected and fulfilling outcomes.
II. 1. Have you ever had to make a difficult choice (or do you think you will have difficult choices to make)? How will you make the choice (for what reasons)?
Making difficult choices is a common experience for most people, and at some point, we all have to make decisions that could have a significant impact on our lives.
When making a difficult choice, it’s important to carefully consider all the available options and weigh the potential outcomes. It can be helpful to seek advice from trusted friends, family members, or professionals to gain a different perspective on the situation.
Ultimately, the decision should be based on one’s values, priorities, and goals. It’s important to ask oneself what is most important and what aligns with one’s long-term vision for life. One should also consider the potential risks and rewards associated with each option and assess one’s ability to cope with the consequences of the decision.
While it’s not always easy to make difficult choices, it’s important to take responsibility for one’s decisions and be willing to adapt and adjust as necessary.
Another Possible Answer:
Making difficult choices is a part of life, and we all face situations where we have to make decisions that can impact our lives significantly. When faced with a difficult choice, it can be helpful to take some time to consider the pros and cons of each option and try to determine which choice aligns best with our values and goals. It can also be helpful to seek advice and support from trusted friends or family members.
In making a difficult choice, it is essential to focus on what matters most to us in the long term rather than just the short term. We should consider the potential consequences of each choice and how they might affect us, both positively and negatively, in the future.
Ultimately, the best way to make a difficult choice is to trust ourselves and our instincts. We should have faith in our ability to make good decisions and have the courage to take risks and choose the less-travelled path if that is what feels right for us.
2. After you have made a choice do you always think about what might have been, or do you accept the reality?
Ans. It is natural to wonder what might have been after making a difficult choice. It is common to reflect on the path not taken and consider the alternative outcomes that could have occurred. However, dwelling on these thoughts for too long can lead to regret and make it difficult to move forward.
In many cases, it is essential to accept the reality of the choice we have made and focus on the positive aspects of that choice. It can be helpful to remind ourselves of the reasons why we made that decision in the first place and the potential benefits that may come from it.
If we find ourselves struggling to accept the reality of our decision, it can be helpful to talk to or trusted ones like a trusted friend or seek the support of a professional counsellor. They can provide a fresh perspective on the situation and help us to process our feelings in a healthy way.
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