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Jean Rhys' and Robert Frost's Use of the Journey Symbol

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Frost's poem, on the other hand, has the speaker remembering his decision of taking a path less traveled while "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood" (Clugston, 2010) and contemplating what made him take such a decision. Although it is not clearly mentioned whether the decision turned out to be good or bad, it seems the narrator of the poem had enjoyed his freedom of choice. Despite the apparent simplicity of the theme, both the works consist of labyrinths of meaning as Frost himself mentioned in one occasion regarding "The Road Not Taken", "You have to be careful of that one; it's a tricky poem-very tricky" (Sovoie, 2004, p. Undoubtedly, the writers converge on the use of nature as a mirror of life.

Nature is used as the setting for both the works and the elements of nature are rendered with symbolic meaning. In Rhys' work, as the woman progresses in her journey into the past, nature is seen depicting different stages of her life. She is seen standing by the shore of a river, which is symbolic of transience, a threshold, which she must cross to reach the other side.

The stones each signify a stage in her life which have led her from childhood to maturity. Similarly, the road and the trampled trees represent the mistakes or hurries of her past life which she now contemplates in a detached manner. The cold breeze again is symbolic of death. The natural setting is established in the very first line of Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken. " Discussing the theme of Edward Thomas's "The Sign-Post", Roderick A. Jacobs mentions Frost's "The Road Not Taken" and exclaims that the two bear thematic similarity, that is, both deal with "nature as a link with man's journey through life. ) Therefore, once again each and every element of nature mentioned by the poet has a symbolic meaning related to life as a journey.

However, as pointed out by Waggoner, Frost does not romanticise with nature. He portrays the "impersonal quality" of nature (1941, p. Standing on a split road, Nature here seems to be impersonal trying in no way to influence the decision of the speaker.

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