The Road And The Writing Style Through An Existentialist Lens

2011 Words Dec 13th, 2016 9 Pages
Examining The Road and the Writing Style through an Existentialist Lens In Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, we are introduced to two nameless people traveling through a land and time unfamiliar, all of which is described to the reader in a stylistically confusing way—the reader can’t help but ask, why? Why is it so often that reading the book becomes as arduous as the journey of the main characters? After reading a page and a half of dialogue without quotation marks or reminders of who is speaking, it should be apparent that McCarthy didn’t write this way for the reader’s convenience. McCarthy writes for the reader with walking dead style and post-apocalyptic prose, with absence of backstory and guiding information, so that the brief moments of flourishing language and adjectives abound have more meaning. The writing works to supplement the underlying existentialist tones, so that we may become more connected with the story, and with the struggle to carry the fire through an unforgiving land.
This monotony—the landscape, the details, the writing style—all are not what the reader should be focused on, rather, they are significant for what they are not. The deprivation in the world of The Road, the absence of flowery language and color, is meant to highlight the importance of moments of relief, the rare instances of reprieve, times where hope and faith are validation of the journey itself. We see existentialist themes being fleshed out through McCarthy’s prose style. Moments…

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