The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost: Meaning of Signaling Devices

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    Anna Alvarez

    The Road Not Taken is a poem that deals with a speaker who is faced with a dilemma of choosing between two roads that are opposite with one another. The speaker attempts to describe each road fairly by applying transitions every time the description is going to lead to another subject.

    To apply all the transitional devices, it is worthy to focus on the last stanza. There are several transitional devices used such as colon, comma, dash, and period.

    Colon – Hence:
    The colon signifies that the speaker is about to state his conclusion or decision on the dilemma he is facing. It is also worthy to note that hence (with a colon) is the last word in the specific line. This gives emphasis that the following lines have a single meaning.

    Comma – In a wood,
    Comma, as a punctuation mark, signals a short pause. In this particular poem, the comma is used to introduce the most important signaling device in the literary piece.

    Dash – And I-
    This is considered as the most important punctuation mark in this stanza. Dash adds to the meaning. It means that the speaker is experiencing a short pause while reflecting on the choice he has made.

    Period – difference.
    This period indicates that the journey of the speaker has ended.

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