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Transcript of The Road
By Cormac McCarthy
The Road (2009)
Surprisingly intelligent and mature
Constantly thinking of others has moments of fear and cries a lot
Reminds the Man to stay focused on what is in front of him
Though he has seen nothing but this cruel, savage, post-apocalyptic world, he's still kind.
"carrying the fire"
Man struck by lightning
The grand house
Man with shotgun
New family for boy
The End :)
What do you live for?
Loss of humanity
What would you do to survive?
The blur of GOOD and BAD
People revert to savagery and instinct
Cormac McCarthy reveals the public's fears
i.e. spread of disease, mass killings, and loss of life in the world (barren, ash, lifeless)
Surface: morbid commentary on society and human nature
Underneath: love between a parent and a child
Similar to William Faulkner
Diction: similar to King James' Bible vocabulary
Bleak + Lifeless + Draining
Effect: ominous, solemn, archaic
“A corpse floating in the black water” (pg 130)
“ The cold relentless circling of the intestate earth. Darkness implacable.” (pg 130)
“...everything gray in the ash” (pg 90)
“wrapped in a blanket...sat in the warm sand in front of the fire with the boxes with beside” (pg 240)
“frail blue flame...set the tinder alight and watched the fire climb upward” (pg 72)
“ crouched over the tank like apes fishing with sticks in an anthill” (pg 214)
“the mummied dead everywhere...flesh cloven along the bones...ligaments tug and taut as wires...shriveled and drawn....faces of boiled sheeting” (pg 25)
“...he found bones and skin piled together with rocks. A pool of guts. They looked to have been boiled.” (pg 71)
lack of punctuation
repetition of grim atmosphere
contrasts with the love that the father and son have in order to survive
Devoted to the boy
Lives for the boy
Protective of son and very strong Character-his devotion to the boy doesn't diminish his toughness
His wife left him and their son(presumed that she is dead)
Often seems burdened by the past
-southeastern United States
-grey ash covered landscape
Begins with the Man and the Boy in the woods
They are making a journey along the road.
The boy is all the Man worries/cares about.
While walking, the Man remembers his wife and his uncle.
The man's house
Man is getting weaker
Arrival at the coast
-Man struck by lightning
-The man with the shotgun
Themes and Motifs
: the symbol of the former civilization
He withdrew his hand and sat looking at a Coca Cola.
What is it, Papa?
It’s a treat. For you...I want you to drink it.
..It’s because I wont ever get to drink another one, isnt it?
” (Pages 24-25)
primitive survival & death:
consistently facing a battle between life and death
they both are thin and malnourished
constantly searching for food and sustenance.
all they have is their cart and what they can carry on their backs/wear
can’t regularly groom themselves because of the harsh winter cold
death of religion
: the hopeful characters (the son) seem to believe in God while the remaining characters don’t.
“When you die it’s the same as if everybody else did too.
I guess God would know it. Is that it?
There is no God.” (Page 170)
humanity/ lack of humanity:
You should thank him you know, the man said. I wouldnt have given you anything.
Maybe I should maybe i shouldnt.
Why wouldnt you?
I wouldnt have given him mine.
...You don’t care if it hurts his feelings?
Why did he do it?
You wouldnt understand, he said. I’m not sure I do.
good vs. evil:
“We wouldnt ever eat anybody, would we?
No. Of course not.
Even if we’re starving?
...No. We wouldnt.
No matter what.
No. No matter what.
Because we’re the good guys.
And we’re carrying the fire.
And we’re carrying the fire. Yes.
” (Pages 128-129)
“I don’t think we’re likely to meet any good guys on the road.
We’re on the road.
” (Page 151)
The father and son seemed to have been abandoned in a multitude of ways:
by the mother
Will you not tell him goodbye?
No. I will not...I have to go.
For the love of God, woman. What am I to tell him?
She’s gone isn’t she?
And he said:
Yes, she is.
” (Page 58)
death of religion
by the rest of humanity
there is no one else they can fully trust left on the planet, post apocalypse = most people have died
theme in the story, the
“The one thing I can tell you is that you won’t survive for yourself” (Page 57).
the mother foreshadows in the beginning of the novel the purpose of the father’s life
-the love becomes more precious due to the isolated state of the two
-they are willing to self sacrifice for the sake of the other