There is a desire to be adventurous, yet we fear possible regret for ‘what might have been’. The literal situation of “The Road Not Taken” concerns a traveler who is faced with a very simple decision.
The traveler comes to a crossroads in “a yellow wood” (1).
Two paths lay ahead of him, both “just as fair” (6).
The traveler desires to take both roads, but knows that he “could not take both” (2), and is disturbed by that realization.
Frost uses this metaphor of the two roads diverging to establish the dilemma of the traveler having to make a choice in the poem and making choices in life itself.
Frost creates the feeling of two roads diverging and leading in different directions and making a rational difference by his last line, “And that has made all the difference” (20).
The traveler is forced to make a decision between the two paths, as he must decide which path to take.
Thematically, the poem argues that no matter how small a decision is, that decision will affect a person’s life forever.
The road in the poem’s title “The Road Not Taken” is contrasted between the road that is “the one less traveled by” (19).
The traveler asserts that the road he takes is “less traveled”.