The Role Of Survival In Cormac Mccarthy's The Road

1100 Words 5 Pages
In Cormac McCarthy’s novel, The Road, the story follows a man and a boy who struggle with the repercussions of living in a post-apocalyptic United States. Throughout the novel, there are many physical obstacles they have to overcome, such as hunger and disease. Cannibals and street thugs who kill other survivors run rampant through the wilderness as well. Although they have close encounters with all of these things, the man tries to protect the boy from physical harm. The surrounding culture of killing, cannibalism, and survival can leave lasting emotional and psychological effects on the people who live within that culture. It is evident that the boy has been affected by the surrounding culture through his fear of exploring buildings, his emotional attachment to and trust of and compassion towards other people, and his strong abhorrence towards thievery or taking what does not belong to him and his father. The boy’s …show more content…
In the current society the man and the boy find themselves in, thievery is just a way of surviving. Thievery is a way of finding food, sustenance, clothing, and protection. In contrast to the society however, the boy is continually asking the man if it is alright for them to be taking things, like food, or if the people who previously owned it would appreciate it. Whilst in the bunker, the man and the boy come across a plethora of food and supplies, but the boy is hesitant and asks if “it is okay for [them] to take it” (McCarthy 139). In order to be a good person according to the boy’s father, they must not do what the bad people do. From the boy’s perspective, the bad people all steal and take from people without asking or care for the consequences and plight those being stolen from may suffer. As a result, the boy believes to be a good person, he must never take or steal anything from anyone unless they no longer need

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