Free Journey in Frost and Welty’s Narratives Essay Sample

Thesis Statement

The major themes in Welty’s and Frost’s books are elicited through a symbolism of the journey and it is through symbolism style of writing that the other themes are revealed. Robert Frost’s The road not taken and Eudora Welty’s A worn path focus on one particular theme which is the journey. The two writers display similar theme, but it is portrayed in different ways. Each theme depicts a particular journey through which life changes. Both books have one thing in common, because both writers reveal that no matter which journey someone takes, still there are challenges and difficulties on the way that de-motivates someone. Both literature books have different characters, symbolism and different historical account, but the theme is similar.

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The road not taken is a poem which was written by Robert Frost.  It is a narrative poem which has only four stanzas and nine syllabuses in each line. The poem narrates about the man who reached a crossroad in his life. The road had two paths one of which was used and the other one was never used.  He made a conclusion on which way to follow, which was less used, no matter how risky it was. However, this path happened to be the best path, thus he made a right decision. The major themes in Welty’s and Frost’s books are elicited through a symbolism of the journey and it is through symbolism style of writing that the other themes are revealed.

A worn path is a short story which was written by Eudora Welty. It depicts the story of a black woman, Phoenix Jackson, who took a journey into the town, so as to get medicine for her grandchild. This is because her grandson had a damaged throat problem which had already started swelling. The woman passes through the wood and on her way she encounters varied restraints, such as dogs and haunters who threaten her. It is the reason why love that she had towards her grandson makes her face problems in an attempt to help her grandson. A worn path is a story that reveals the hidden love, as well as devotion.


The major theme revealed in Frost’s poem and Welty’ short story is the journey. Each author has different views provided about the theme of a journey in their work. According to the two authors, the journey has different meanings and some people consider it as just a step taken when travelling. However, Frost and Welty provide different meanings of the journey in people‘s lives. For them, the journey possesses definitive power that alters the way people think, learn negative and positive things, as well as it can be used to determine the future of a person. From the poem of Frost, he reveals varied ways though which the journey can be depicted in people’s lives. He narrates that in a life time, there comes a time when one has to make a decision and he uses the two paths to depict the way one can make a choice which can determine his or her future. Not only does the poem base on the theme, but it tries to experiment some things in life which is not following what others or the crowd do. For instance, when the speaker was confronted between making a choice on the two paths, he decided to use the less used path and left the one which many people used. On the other hand, Welty reveals Phoenix that she has no choice of selecting the path, but rather use the dangerous path in order to get the medicine for healing her grandson. She took the path for the sake and love that she had towards her grandson no matter how difficult it was.

Additionally, Welty’s and Frost’s books are elicited through a symbolism of the journey. In Welty’s short story, the author reveals a hidden meaning behind the Phoenix’s journey. The themes of this short story are elicited from the symbol of the journey and her encounters on the way to the town. The road is used as a symbol for life challenges which both characters undergo. The road, which Phoenix uses, has many times scaring hunter holding guns and forest animals which scare her. However, she is determined to travel, in order to reach the town so that she could get the medicine for her grandson. The road signifies the hard life both character are undergoing. For instance, in the poem of Frost, the man is depresses, thus he finds it difficult to make a decision on the right road to follow. However, he eventually takes the road which is less used by people. Eventually, he found that the same road, which he used, was the better one which led to success.

In the poem Frost employs different ways of communicating the theme of the poem. The author first begins to communicate about the theme when he says the road not taken. In this case, the word ‘not’ is used to refer to the kind of choice made. The man made a decision to follow the road which was less used. However, the author contradicts the statement when he says that the man says he will take the other road some other day. This indicates that the man has only one choice to make in his life. The author reemphasizes this when he states that the author will make another choice, thus the man says ‘with a sigh’ at some later date. This implies the kinds of regret. However, his choice has made the difference, thus towards the end of the poem the author says ‘two roads were in a wood, I took the one less traveled by’. The author intended to bring out the issue of making a decision in life which suits someone better. Decisions are the natural part of life and they are inevitable, because it is difficult for one to know whether the decision made was right or wrong.  One will only discover if he or she has made the right or wrong decision, until he or she has achieved the future demands. For instance, the speaker doubted the choice which he had made. However, he decided to use the less used path and eventually, he realized that it was the right path.

Additionally, decisions or choices made are another theme portrayed in both poems. Life is a journey and people need to make choices in life.  In Frost’s poem, the author reveals the way the speaker is faced with challenges of making decisions on the kind of the road to follow. According to, life is a journey and people are faced with tragedies, as well as triumphs when making choices. Decision making is one the themes in Frost’ novel, because everyone can empathize the situations facing the speaker. Frost’s poem is tricky to interpret, but it offers a self-congratulatory of wisdom. However, in Welty’s short story decisions making are revealed especially when Phoenix decided to walk alone in the forest, she made a decision of risking her life but save her loving son who was dying.

In addition, Frost reveals the analogy between moving in the forest and moving through life. He writes in a first person narrative, as if the narrative includes everyone with the reader in this journey. Thus, Frost reveals that every individual has to appoint in life where one has to make a choice of living. This is because the poem has two paths, but the speaker decides to choose the path which many people do not use, but it ultimately benefits him. For instance, in stanza one, the walk through the woods reveals the choices that challenge the speaker. The speaker says ‘two roads diverged in a yellow wood’. In this context, the ‘yellow wood’ represents a scaring and a challenging world. This indicates that many people are usually scared and they found it challenging when they are supposed to make a big choice in life. Additionally, line two of the poem reveals that taking both paths is not an option and the forth line indicates that the speaker was trying to focus on the future, thus made a right decision. Thus, Frost’s book is fundamental because it provides varied lessons that people should follow in life.

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Additionally, when comparing the Welty’s short story and Frost’s poem, there is some sort of symbolism, which occurs in both texts. Symbolism obscures completely the meaning of the texts, thus challenging the reader. In both books, the journeys, which both characters took, have a symbolic meaning. The symbolism of the journey in both books is a basis behind the literature work. In Frost’s poem, the two journeys which the man tries to figure out the one two use have symbolic meaning. The two paths symbolize life challenges the man was undergoing in his life. For instance, in the first two lines of the poem, Frost says ‘two roads diverged in a yellow, and sorry I could not have travel both’. The yellow wood has a symbolic meaning because the forest could not halve actually filled with the yellow trees. Moreover, the reader may understand the meaning why the man took time to come up with a final decision on the path to follow. This symbolizes the lack of movement which may be caused by depression. Depression is revealed, especially when the man decided to follow the path which was grassy, instead of following a dreary path.  This is because when people are depressed they do not want to follow the right way everyone follows, but rather follow their own ways.

Symbolisms of the journey are revealed differently in both books. For instance, in Welty’s short story symbolism is revealed, especially where Phoenix is compared to the mythological bird. She is compared with a bird and her grandson is described as the little patch quilt. A woman path is narrated in the third person thus allowing the reader to sympathize with Phoenix because of her thoughts and actions. Moreover, her journey through the woods where she meets with the hunters and scaring animals are the symbolism of life challenges which Phoenix experiences. She has a sick grandson who has be nil for a long time. Phoenix loves her grandson, so she travels the far distance despite the challenges on the way in order to get medicine for his treatment.

In both books, both authors employ use of symbolism to reveal out the team. However, in the poem of Frost, symbolism is revealed, especially where the speaker became optimistic of the kind of the roads to chose. The speaker doubts himself on the kind of road to use and this reveals the way life is challenging. Sometimes, one may makes a choice, but he or she may doubt it, whether it was the right or the wrong choice to make. The symbolism is portrayed through the speaker’s doubts. The speaker thinks that he might take one path and never come back at all. The entire poem reveals the man who is stuck on the road and doubts which path to follow. The road symbolizes the kind of life which is challenging, especially when one is required to make a choice. On the other short story of Welty, symbolism is revealed especially where the woman took of the journey alone in the forest and encountered some animals of different and hunters who threatened her.

Additionally, there is an imaginative language employed in creating an emotion. The man doubts if he can follow the path down which is covered with leaves. The leaves in this case symbolize the difficult trials that would follow the man. Usually, it is easier to walk in a clear road than the one covered with the leaves. Moreover, one can walk in a road used by few people, thus the speaker makes a decision to use the less used road. The path and the leaves are some of the symbolic images used in the poem of Frost. These two images alter the tone of the poem thus causing the confusion, but it provokes the deep thought especially when the speaker says that he took the less traveled path.

However, there are some differences in Welty’s and Frost’s books. In the short story of Welty, race and racism are one of the major themes revealed in the short story of Welty. The settings of the book of Welty took place in Mississippi during the midst of the 19th century. Thus, when Phoenix was passing through the forest, she encountered the hunters who had guns; some of them were the Southern whites. Therefore, the white hunter demeans and underestimates her journey. ‘I know your old colored people! Wouldn’t you miss the town to see Santa Clause’. The white haunters taunt her by pointing Phoenix with the loaded gun which scares her. Welty shows the way white segregate the black people; this is the reason why he employs the theme of racism to depict the differences which are between the whites and the blacks.

Another major theme revealed in the short story of Welty is perseverance and challenges between life and death.  The author reveals that Phoenix’s long journey on the woody forest while alone and walking on foot indicate her perseverance. Moreover, commentators reveal that the name Phoenix is an Egyptian bird which symbolizes the resurrection. The Christian symbolization is also clear in the short story. For instance, the story of Phoenix was set during the Christmas season which made some critics connect the journey of Phoenix with the religious pilgrimage. The journey which she takes and the concerns of her helpless grandson are interpreted as the true spirit of giving and self sacrifice. This is because Phoenix sacrifices her time to take a journey on foot and walking alone in a scaring woody forest, in order to save the life of her grandson. Nevertheless, while Phoenix‘s story rests on the imagistic, as well as symbolic language use, the action of the entire plot reveals the indirect conflict of Phoenix with the outside world. These conflicts are depicted between the blacks and the whites, whereby the white people do not respect or understand the situation of Phoenix. This is revealed especially when she met the white hunters who scared and threatened her. One of the white men hunting in the forest harasses Phoenix by telling her that the work of African American is to go to town in order to see the Santa Claus.

The author of The road not taken employs different features, such as trees, rains and leaves in his settings of the poem. These features have symbolic meanings in people’s lives.  The author reveals the way each person makes his or her own choice when he or she is confronted with challenges that require the decision making. However, this poem is contradicting because of the way the speaker narrates. Moreover, from the introduction of the title ‘The road not taken’ one would expect that the speaker would make a choice of using the path which is used by everyone. However, to the reader’s amazement, the speaker chooses the road which is less used and has many grassy, thus contradicting the poem.


In conclusion, Robert Frost’s The road not taken and Eudora Welty’s A worn path focus on one particular theme of journey. The two authors employ the theme of the journey in their work, but the theme is represented differently in each book. For instance, in the book of Frost, he uses the journey to explain the differences in life. He encourages people not to follow the mass of the crowd while making a choice. That is the reason why he chooses the path which is not used by many people, but he eventually succeeds. In the book of Welty, the author employs the theme of the journey in explaining the difficultness, as well as challenges people undergo and on the way some discourages them. For instance, he uses Phoenix as a determined woman who decided to face the challenges on her journey to town. Despite the obstacles on her way, she could not give up because of the love that she had to her grandson. However, some differences appear because of the historical account which is interpreted differently making the theme vary. For instance, racism is depicted in Welty’s short story, because the settings took place in Mississippi, whereby the whites discriminated the black people. 


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