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Summary of Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken"

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Summarize the meaning of the poem below focusing on the concluding stanza.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth; 5

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same, 10

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back. 15

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood and Iâ?"
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. 20

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Solution Preview

Frost's poem can have several interpretations. It is certainly about choices and taking risks. The number of interpretations comes into play when you decide whether the speaker is satisfied with his choice. Your interpretation depends on how you read the last lines of the poem.

One interpretation you could make of the poem is that the speaker is ...

Solution Summary

In this solution, I list several possible meanings for the concluding lines of Frost's poem, "The Road Not Taken".

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Aesculapius and Hygeia Models

Robert Frost (1874 -1963), an American poet wrote the following lines:
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence;
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

There are two cults (options) within the traditions of ancient Greece - Aesculapius and Hygeia - which dealt with health care delivery. Aesculapius was a strict patient and health care provider model that was aggressively centered around the patient, whereas Hygeia was a public health model that focused on prevention in the context of public interest. It is clear that American medical care is built on the Aesculpapian model. When one considers our concerns regarding the allocation of health care, is it possible that some of our problems are associated with this choice made over 1,000 years ago? Consider how the debate would be altered had we taken the Hygeia model (option) as the standard of health care provision.

In particular, address each of the following:

What would the health care system look like?

What would be its primary legal, ethical, and moral obligations and why?

What would be among the problems facing this different model of health care?

What lessons, from this model, can you take into your own healthcare practice and/or values and why?

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