As I read The Road (I’m not quite to the finish) what seems most powerful to me is the style that McCarthy uses in creating the post-apocalyptic. The grayness of the text seems so vividly real, and depressive. Descriptions of ash, of the layers of worn and distressed clothing and blankets, of the rare pleasure of finding food, the frustration when that food is contaminated, are rendered in such a way that though the language is overwhelming drab, and dark, and dreary, it is an image quite easy to realize in the mind, and immediately something profoundly tragic. Continue reading
Throughout the novel, the man and the boy find oases along the road, where they find food and supplies to sustain them on their journey. I find these brief respites fascinating because of how short lived they are – the man and the boy are not driven away from paradise, they chose to live. I’m not sure whether, if I was in their shoes, I would have the strength to walk away from the underground bunker, or the house hidden along the curve of the road, or the ship on the beach. Continue reading
Of all the aspects of this novel that stood out, I think that the McCarthy’s most striking feature was his unique characterization of all the characters. I appreciate this on a number of levels, for he is able to provide an extensive analysis of both the characters and the setting.
The end of The Road shows a true transformation not only of the characters, but also of the world in which they live. Though everything in this world is physically the same as when the story started, something significantly changes about our perception of it (or at least my perception of it). This new perception paints the same post-apocalyptic world in a slightly warmer and more humane way, thus creating a glimmer of hope for mankind, as we often see at the end of so many other apocalyptic tales. Continue reading
In our last class, we briefly discussed the idea of the boy being a prophet-like figure. By the halfway point of the novel, I wasn’t convinced of this idea at all. However, it all changed as I finished the second half of “The Road.”
The passage that really stood out to me in the second half of The Road was the statement made by the man who briefly travels with the boy and his father: “If something had happened and we were survivors and we met on the road then we’d have something to talk about. But we’re not. So we dont”(172). Continue reading
This week, one of the running themes was the father’s detachment, relative to his son’s. In the second half of The Road, there is an interesting moment where the boy seems to have begun to adopt the same desensitized reaction: Continue reading
The apocalypse that preludes the events of The Road begins with the end of linear time: “the clocks stopped at 1:17” (52). The end of time signals the end of stability, and the devolution of the world into an anarchic wasteland populated by cannibals and blood cults. In the relentlessly gray twilight world, “things believed to be true” (89), such as the existence of God and the different between good and evil, right and wrong, are thrown into question. Continue reading
When the world we know is gone, what else is there to live for? This is a question that has been tirelessly touched upon in this class in relation to the other stories we’ve read/seen so far. For the other stories, there has always been a glimmer of hope for a better future, whether it is through women’s fertility, heavenly immortality, or even peace on Earth. For McCarthy’s The Road, I found myself troubled with the fact that I couldn’t initially find a clear reason for the man’s desperate want to survive. Continue reading
While reading The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, I found myself getting very emotionally attached to the storyline. Although I am not generally an unattached reader, I do find that my sympathy or feel for characters and plot structure varies among different works of literature. With this reading, I can say that I was impressed with my degree of commitment to McCarthy’s writing and the tale that he narrates. When forced to contemplate why this book strikes out to me, I can only resonate this particular interest with the overall theme of human survival.