The Theme Of The Road In Cormac Mccarthy's The Road

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The Road by Cormac McCarthy is a post apocalyptic story about a father and son’s journey to the south. It is set in mid 20th century America. The desolate land is covered by a thick layer of ashy clouds, causing the temperature to drop. At the start, we find the Father and Son sleeping in a wooded area. They begin their journey on the ash covered road. The pair walks with their cart and sacks for miles upon miles. Stopping only for short nights of sleep or to scavenge for food. Their goal is to make it south, where it is warmer. As they go on, they pass through many small cities and towns, filled with empty aluminum houses, trash, and ash. When the father and son arrive at the man’s childhood home, they begin to see the full desolation …show more content…
“Are we going in?’ ‘Why not?’ ‘I’m scared.” (McCarthy, p. 2006, 47) Every single house they visited, the Boy was scared of. If the Boy was too frightened to go in, the father would give his only weapon, the revolver, to the Boy. This was the ultimate sacrifice, willing to risk his own life just to make sure the Boy felt …show more content…
When The man finds some hot chocolate powder, he gives it all to The Boy to make sure that he lives. “You promised not to do that, the boy said.” (McCarthy, p. 2006, 44) In reality, they both were starving, surviving off hope and fear. If The Boy said nothing, he would have gotten it all, but instead he chose to share with his father. Later in the book, when the thief steals their cart, knapsacks, and all they had, The Boy finds compassion and makes a sacrifice. Instead of keeping the man’s shoes and knife, the boy wanted to return them. “Just help him, Papa. Just help him…He was just hungry, Papa.” Each decision he makes is thinking of others and being the good guys. (McCarthy, p. 2006, 352) The overall setting of this book is post apocalyptic, but each section of the book is set in a different place, therefore a different setting. The author states that it is set somewhere in Mid-America. Though no dates are given, based on the items in the book, it appears to be mid fifties or sixties. The landscape, the towns, the items are desolate and grey. Thick clouds cover the sun, causing a constant cold and dull lighting. At the beginning, the father and son start walking through a charred wooded area. They end up on an ash covered road. “The soft ash blowing in loose swirls over the blacktop.” (McCarthy, p. 2006, 7) Mono light dimly shone onto their dirty

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