Objectivism And Heroism In Cormac Mccarthy's The Road

2106 Words 9 Pages
The dismal and gray fiction following the journey of an unnamed father and his son through a post-apocalyptic wasteland depicts a form of human connection unlike any other. Cormac McCarthy successfully highlights the unspeakable bond between parent and child within The Road, with a young boy and his dying father facing the seemingly hopeless world around them with the mentality of heroism and morality as they battle the so-called “bad guys” of the new world. As Carlson writes, “...other people are few and those who do appear represent first and foremost the threat of torment and death, as by blood cult and cannibalism” (Carlson 54). With the fear of murder, rape, and human enslavement constantly occupying the thoughts of those that survived …show more content…
These complex structures explored within The Road require deconstructing in order to understand Cormac McCarthy’s intentions in writing the novella. In turn, a deconstructive reading will also uncover important contradictions within McCarthy’s 2006 novel; as Ellis writes, “deconstruction is a mode of reading which pays attention not only to the surface, but also to concealed subtleties beneath it … These different levels may even run counter to each other, so that there is a tension between them” (Ellis 263). I contend McCarthy includes two antithetic levels within The Road: the deontological and the …show more content…
At the surface, fire may appear as a metaphor for morality because only the good guys carry it. However, both the boy and the man carry the fire despite their differing opinions in morality; representing ambiguous and abstract moral concepts with fire would be a poor analogy. Fire is an extremely powerful source of energy, light, and warmth. As Wielenberg explains, “Fire is the foundation of civilization” (Wielenberg 4). In essence, carrying the fire means supporting the root of humanity’s value: love. Despite the differences between the boy and the man, one similarity upholds the two throughout their journey, and that is the ability to trust and love others. Love appears as the underlying foundation of The Road, regardless of its bleak setting. The gray ash, gray snow, and gray ocean may represent ambiguous concepts of morality: nothing is right or wrong, just as nothing is black or white. But McCarthy never intended for readers to focus on the gray; rather, the most important colors in The Road are the orange and red glow of the

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