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In Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, the author conveys that although there can be despair and bloodshed in the world, love overcomes all with a little faith. The man views the boy as a symbol for hope and provides the man with a purpose in life, to protect the boy above all. Violence is the antagonist in the novel because the people are driven into thievery, murder, and cannibalism because of the post-apocalyptic landscape. Food is scarce and people are starving, and consequently, people turn to thievery as a way to fend for themselves. At this point in time, stealing is not a crime anymore. There is no government, there are no regulations, and all is fair game. When the man says that he will protect the boy at any cost, it is not an understatement. When a member of a bloodcult posed a threat to the boy, the man did not so much as fidget to reach for the safety of his weapon. Without overthinking, the man shot the degenerate dead before his son. The aftermath resulted in the man soothing the boy by claiming that his job is to take care of him and that he was “appointed to do that by God” and even states that he would, “kill anyone who touches the boy” (77). He tells the boy that even if they had killed someone it would not be a very bad thing because God had given the man permission to do it, to protect the boy, and it was a necessary thing to do in order to live.
To conclude, the man and the boy face terrible circumstances in the novel, The Road. They do, however, manage to stay alive by the little resources they can garner and by keeping their faith animate. It is true that the world they inhabit is filled with unspeakable violence, but the father-son relationship illustrated proves that love can triumph over any obstacle. It is with love that together they survive and rejoice at the little things. It is described from the man’s perspective that the boy is the only hope in this chaotic world. The man sees a light in the child that no one else does, and because of this, decides to live to make his last mission to protect the boy from any source of harm.
The newspaper on Tuesday fell for a hoax, seemingly started by a tweet from an unverified account, which claimed that the 82-year-old author of The Road had died of a stroke.
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Described the novel as a “gripping, heart-rending story, which explores the depths of despair and savagery beside the heights of love, tenderness and self-sacrifice.” Destruction, survival, isolation, and death are prominent themes in The Road. Most life has been wiped out by some unnamed catastrophic event. Cities are destroyed; plant life is gone; animals have disappeared. Civilization has broken down, and chaos reigns in its place. No matter where the man and the boy go, houses have no roofs and are rotting from the rain and wind. The natural cycle of seasons has been destroyed: it seems to be perpetually winter. Even the stability of the earth is off-kilter, for an earthquake shakes the ground on the East Coast. In a storytelling style that is stripped as bare as the novel’s setting, McCarthy recounts the journey of an unnamed man and boy, in an undefined location, who search among the debris in the aftermath of some cataclysmic event for morsels of food and warmth. Though their lungs are tortured by the thick ash that discolors and taints the air, and their unshod feet are blistered and almost frozen, they trudge forever forward, always hoping for something better, something similar to the past. They rarely find it. And they dare not linger, because other wanderers, likewise cold and hungry, will inevitably come upon them, fighting for the tidbits that the man and boy have found. In stark contrast to the devastated surroundings stands the man and boy’s unshaken devotion to one another. In a landscape where nothing blooms, their love flourishes and grows deeper, even as they wonder all the while which one of them will die first. They keep three things in mind as they move south toward a dream of warmth: they must find food, they must find clean water, and they must continually hide.
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Barrera, Cordelia E. “The Road.” Masterplots, Fourth Edition (2010): 1-3. Literary Reference Center. Web. 11 Feb. 2014.
COOPER, LYDIA. “Cormac Mccarthy’s The Road As Apocalyptic Grail Narrative.” Studies In The Novel 43.2 (2011): 218-236. Literary Reference Center. Web. 11 Feb. 2014. McCarthy, Cormac. The Road. New York: Random House Inc.,