Ambiguity In Mccarthy's The Road

882 Words 4 Pages
In The Road, McCarthy presents to the reader one of the most obvious subtle representations of the human interpretation of faith. She does this by putting it in a place we can so clearly and evidently see, that we are not consciously aware of it, through the main characters of the man and the boy. This effect represents how faith is depicted in The Road – ambiguously. The man openly expresses doubt about the existence of a higher power "Then he just knelt in the ashes. He raised his face to the palling day. Are you there? he whispered. Will I see you at the last?" (10). The critical point in the expression of doubt, however, is that to have it one must have believed in something at first. However, in later points of the story, he approaches …show more content…
In The Road, however, McCarthy illustrates beautifully, through the abstract nature of ambiguity, the sort-of paradox that suffering not only has the ability to provide a reason to disprove the existence of any loving higher power, but also has the capacity to produce or strengthen belief in such a deity. Station Eleven portrays art and faith similarly in their ultimate purpose, to preserve convention and offer some sort of familiar permanence to the world which is now constantly changing. The Road, however, offers many different contrasting viewpoints within merely the same sentence. As the man is dying, he says “You need to find the good guys but you cant take any chances. No chances. Do you hear?” (278). This in itself is a contradiction, a call to the boy to both, in a way, have faith without having faith. This very ambiguity is present throughout McCarthy’s novel. To some extent the reader themselves is faced with the task of determining the “good guys” and the “bad guys” in the novels from the sometimes limited amount of information presented, putting us directly into the shoes of the boy and the man. Through this, in a way, we are constantly presented with a way to interpret the ambiguity that is presented, constantly presented with the opportunity to choose our own measure of faith. This ambiguity is also present in most of the subtext of the writing as well; When the wife states that “Sooner or later they will catch us and they will kill us. They will rape me. They’ll rape him. They are going to rape us and kill us and eat us and you wont face it. You’d rather wait for it to happen. But I cant. I cant.” (56) she is, to some extent, expressing faith – faith of the fact the the brutality will not only occur, but be crueler than death. Yet, there is also faith in things such as the man saying “My job

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