Introduction to Literature
Instructor Melissa Dowd
The readers’ way of processing information has a great influence on how he or she would interpret a piece of literature; it may be highly different from what the author intends to express. The reader-response process happens as soon as a person reads a piece of literature and begins to associate it with a certain moment and/or lesson about life, which encourages them to read further. Much of the time, the language of the reading material influences how a person will process the text. It is in this way that the person is able to input his/her own creativity in the reading material.
Robert Frost’s the Road Not Taken provided me with a reader-response approach because it focused on situations wherein the person needs to choose between to crucial decisions. Frost included so much angst in the idea of not being able to choose both paths, because the situation really calls for giving up the other option. A decision, not matter how small will always have an impact on the life that the person is living. Even if Frost did not identify what his exact dilemma is, I, as the reader was able to associate my own life choices with those of which Frost wrote. He used “path” as his linguistic style.
It was really easier for me to relate to Frost’s work because I personally had my own dilemma specifically regarding my education. There was a line in the poetry that said, because it was grassy and wanted wear. In this line, I was able to associate my desire of going to back to school with my hopes of finding a greener pasture (grassy), but I also had to consider my family, which I could not just up and leave behind me (wanted wear). I talked with my girlfriend regarding my dilemma, and we were able to raise our concerns, and also considered other people along the way as we made the decisions. Eventually, we both agreed that the idea of returning to school is really acceptable. However, we were also able to determine from our talk the path “to where it bent in the undergrowth” or what we applied to our lives as our attachment to our family. We have always been used to having their presence and support near us, even as kids. Ironically, the idea of living in another country has never really occurred to us.
Not surprisingly, my girlfriend and I both returned to school, which we consider as our road less traveled by. As we went there, we had our hopes with us, that the decision we made could bring us better life. Even though we decided not to move, our decision to enroll in college is really something that is filled with uncertainty, knowing that life could have been easier if we had just stayed in our normal routine. Our road less reveled may provide us with a number of unknown consequences but we see this as one of our ways to make our life more interesting.
One of the reasons why it had been easy for me to relate to Frost’s poem is his technique of using generic terms that…