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Religious Symbolism in Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken

Religious Symbolism in “The Road Not Taken”

In “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost, there are many religious analogies. Most people agree that in the poem Frost was expressing the belief that it is the road or path that one takes or chooses that makes him the man he is today and will be tomorrow. Everyone is a traveler on life’s roads. In the poem there is never just one road to take. Religion can be found in this poem by the decision the speaker must make, the road he chose, and the road not taken.

“And sorry I could not travel both” (2), the speaker is coming to a decision. In everyone’s life, they must make a decision to follow God or not to follow God. In this poem, the speaker has to make this choice. He tries to look down both roads as far as he can to see the choices that might result from taking either path. “Yet knowing how way leads on to way” (14), he knows that this decision is not temporary. He knows that once he chooses a path, he “doubted if I should ever come back” (15[VR1] ).

The second case of religious symbolism is the road …

An Analysis of Jean Toomer’s Cane

An Analysis of Jean Toomer’s Cane

In the prose fiction Cane: Jean Toomer uses the background of the Black

American in the South to assist in establishing the role of the modernist

black writer. While stylistic characteristics such as ambiguity of words and

the irony of the contradictory sentences clearly mask this novel as a

modernist work. Toomer draws upon his experiences and his perspective of

the life of Blacks in Georgia to create a setting capable of demonstrating

the difficulties facing the twentieth-century Black author. This

presentation is both vivid and straightforward and while acknowledges the

fall of slavery, it also examines the after-effects which remain in American

life. The effects of racism in U.S. history have made the job of defining

Black culture particularly difficult, Toomer however, remains on of the first

black authors who addresses the issue of a post slavery society. The text

itself presents numerous references regarding Toomer’s beliefs that the past

inspires the modern writer. However, the focus remains on the present

situation of Blacks in America and not their history. One of the most

interesting aspects in his work proves to be his use of prose, structure, and

character to draw upon his Black heritage to demonstrate how history does

affect the modern Black. By incorporating history in to these parts of the

novel, Toomer offers a definite role for Blacks in the twentieth century.

Throughout the novel specific textual references, exemplify Toomer’s

dependence upon Black heritage in providing the inspiration necessary in

identifying Black culture. Critic Robert Bone writes:

He attained a universal vision by ignoring race as a local tr…

… middle of paper …

…if this balance between the past

and the ideas for the future can be achieved then there will come about a

stronger more identifiable modern Black culture that does not add to

segregation, but adds to American culture. This hope is clear in his poem

“November Cotton Flower.”

Old folks were startled, and it soon assumed

Significance. Superstition saw

Something it had never seen before.

Brown eyes that loved without a trace of fear,

Beauty so sudden for that time of year. (Pg6)

The thing that superstition, “had never seen before” is the dawn of a modern

Black culture, which embodies the elements of the history of Black Americans

while relieving them of the hardships and the suppression of the Old South.

Judging from the number of Black authors who were inspired by Toomer, he

might just have been at the birth of this new Black culture.

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