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The Road

Summer Reading Presentation Ostroski, Hour 7
by

Zach Case

on 4 September 2012

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Transcript of The Road

Cormac McCarthy The Road Post-apocalyptic society
Father and his son
Fighting to survive Quick Plot Review The reader never actually figures out what happened; there are hints, but it isn't directly given away. A couple things to keep in Mind Characters are never given names. There are no chapters in this book. It is one continuous story. To give you an idea of the setting Without rules or regulations, a society will disintegrate into anarchy. Theme Relevant to us How?
This could potentially happen.
The author believes that everyone is like this by nature.
How would we react if everything we knew was destroyed? To make this easy to relate to. Related Works Golding, using children as a representation of the human race as a whole, creates his idea of a world without rules.
They decline into anarchy. Lord Of the Flies Seems like a pretty similar idea, does it not? Ughh, I know, but try and remember it. It gets BETTER! ? ? ? Everyone over 15 disappears. The kids left behind end up killing each other over supplies, power, food, etc. Gone/Hunger/Lies "If Stephen King had written Lord of the Flies, it might have been a little like this..." VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates) The Passage "He started down the rough wooden steps. he ducked his head and then flicked the lighter and swung the flame out over the darkness like an offering. Coldness and damp. An ungodly stench... Huddled against the back wall were naked people, male and female, all trying to hide, shielding their faces with their hands. On the mattress lay a man with his legs gone to the hip and the stumps of them blackened and burnt. the smell was hideous.
Jesus, he whispered.
Then, one by one they turned and blinked in the pitiful light. Help us, they whispered. Please help us.
Christ, he said. Oh Christ.
He turned and grabbed the boy. Hurry, he said. Hurry....
A bearded face appeared blinking at the foot of the stairs. Please, he called. Please.
Hurry. For God's sake hurry" (McCarthy 110). Considering what this passage is about, one would expect the tone would be at least a little mortified. On the contrary, it's fairly matter-of-fact. Tone McCarthy hopes to make the reader feel uncomfortable by not showing any emotion throughout the exchange. Speaks to the savageness of the people in this world. Darkness. Ungodly stench. Naked. Stumps (referring to what used to be legs). Blackened and burnt... etc. Diction Do these words make you imagine something like this? Or feel something a little like this? Or Remember what I said about the characters never receiving names? That's Social Commentary!
By doing this McCarthy creates separation from the characters, allowing his readers to connect them to the human race. Social Commentary He is suggesting that if we were in this situation, we would:
Find these people, starving and emaciated.
Get scared and leave.
Or, disgusting as it may be, eat them.


Survival of the fittest is what it would break down to. Because we're human. Sometimes our circumstances compel us to be the beast we have to be in order to survive. Read it. Recommendation "He started down the rough wooden steps. he ducked his head and then flicked the lighter and swung the flame out over the darkness like an offering. Coldness and damp. An ungodly stench... Huddled against the back wall were naked people, male and female, all trying to hide, shielding their faces with their hands. On the mattress lay a man with his legs gone to the hip and the stumps of them blackened and burnt. the smell was hideous.
Jesus, he whispered.
Then, one by one they turned and blinked in the pitiful light. Help us, they whispered. Please help us.
Christ, he said. Oh Christ.
He turned and grabbed the boy. Hurry, he said. Hurry....
A bearded face appeared blinking at the foot of the stairs. Please, he called. Please.
Hurry. For God's sake hurry" (McCarthy 110). "He started down the rough wooden steps. he ducked his head and then flicked the lighter and swung the flame out over the darkness like an offering. Coldness and damp. An ungodly stench... Huddled against the back wall were naked people, male and female, all trying to hide, shielding their faces with their hands. On the mattress lay a man with his legs gone to the hip and the stumps of them blackened and burnt. the smell was hideous.
Jesus, he whispered.
Then, one by one they turned and blinked in the pitiful light. Help us, they whispered. Please help us.
Christ, he said. Oh Christ.
He turned and grabbed the boy. Hurry, he said. Hurry....
A bearded face appeared blinking at the foot of the stairs. Please, he called. Please.
Hurry. For God's sake hurry" (McCarthy 110).
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