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Personal Choices in Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken

Personal Choices and The Road Not Taken

When I read The Road Not Taken, I thought right away of the choice I made in high school not to study foreign languages. In the poem, the speaker makes his choice in either fall or spring – when the woods are yellow. I see both these seasons as times of new beginnings. In spring, everything new is growing. In fall (at least for students) it’s the start of a new school year. I made my choice one fall when a guidance director told me I was not “college material” and recommended that I drop my French class. September should have been a beginning, but I saw it as an end to my dream for college. It’s only now that I can begin to think it was-in a way – a beginning, too.

Dropping French was desirable because I didn’t do well in languages, but taking a language was also desirable because you had to…

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…ence to her own choices in life. Her observations show that she became genuinely interested in Frost’s theme and was able to appreciate his poem more fully by bringing something of herself to her reading. You may think her commentary is very different from what you have previously thought of as “literary analysis.” Certainly, her ideas are expresses informally and personally, yet she has indeed “analyzed” the poem (looked at how parts of it work to create the whole).

A Comparison of Relationships in Stone Angel, Fire-Dwellers, and Diviners

Relationships in The Stone Angel, The Fire-Dwellers, and The Diviners

There are always problems in every relationship, in every marriage. With strong communication, acceptance and a love for one another, these challenges can be overcome. In Margaret Laurence’s Manawaka Cycle, the characters all have enormous problems in their relationships. In the books The Stone Angel, The Fire-Dwellers, and The Diviners, the characters’ marriages all have varying degrees of trouble. However, through hard work and perseverance, the partners survive and grow. Each relationship in these books has two or three problems, that when combined, become daunting. However, the characters’ real problem is that they are alone in their marriage. Margaret Laurence states that “men and women suffer equally; the tragedy is not that they suffer, but that they suffer alone.”1 These men and women are alone, not communicating nor respecting each other, which leads to personal problems in and in their confidence in themselves and each other.

In Laurence’s The Stone Angel, Hagar Currie, a girl from town, marries Bram Shipley, a widowed country farmer. From the time of their marriage ceremony until Hagar leaves Bram, Hagar’s sense of pride hurts her, Bram, and their marriage. Hagar gives the appearance to Bram and the community that she hates his looks, and is disgusted with him. Even at the dance where they first meet, Hagar reveals he…

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… Dictionary of Canadian Quotations and Phrases. (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1979), 580.

2Margaret Laurence, The Stone Angel (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1964), 47.

3Laurence, The Stone Angel, 69.

Bibliography

Gray, John. Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1992.

Hamilton, Robert M. and Shields, Dorothy, eds. The Dictionary of Canadian Quotations and Phrases. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1979.

Laurence, Margaret. The Diviners. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1974.

Laurence, Margaret. The Fire Dwellers. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1969.

Laurence, Margaret. The Stone Angel. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1964.

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