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The Road - Text Analysis

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Anthony Arciuolo

on 24 October 2014

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Transcript of The Road - Text Analysis

The Road - Text Analysis
Effect of short sentences
The effect of these short sentences are powerful on the reader. This use of short sentences conveys McCarthy’s ideals in a concise and explicit manner, ensuring the reader remains intrigued by the introduction of suspense.

“The boy was all that stood between him and death”

“Nobody wants to be here and nobody wants to leave.”

“There is no God and we are his prophets.”

“If only my heart were stone.”

“Where men can't live Gods fare no better.”

“If you break little promises, you'll break big ones.”
Importance of survival - Who is more capable?

The father
- able to provide food/shelter for the son
less trusting of mankind
possesses a strong mindset, despite his illnesses

The son
- no knowledge of life before the apocalypse
robust moral resilience
retains a strong hope and optimism despite the things he's witnessed
receives knowledge and experience passed on by the father

“A person who had no one would be well advised to cobble together some passable ghost”.
- Stresses the importance of companionship is times of hardship

"Can you do it? When the time comes? When the time comes there will be no time ... Could you crush that beloved skull with a rock?"
- The father entertains the idea of killing his son, to protect him from further danger

"Perhaps a dozen in number, some of them pregnant, and lastly a supplementary consort of catamites"
- References the vicious marauders the "elements" have forced many people to yield to
Importance of survival - Who is more capable?
“How do I know you’re one of the good guys? You don’t. You’ll have to take a shot”.
- Symbolic of the fathers distrusting of humanity being instilled within the boy

”Can’t we help him Papa? No. We can’t help him".
- Representative of the boys to endeavor to see only the good in all people, and constantly strive to help others

"You have to carry the fire. Where is it? I don’t know where it is. Yes you do. It's inside you" -
This “fire”, is symbolic of perpetual hope and human toughness

“We have a little boy and a little girl. And you didn’t eat them? No we don’t eat people". -
Evidence of the how the boy hasn't yielded to cannibalism and marauding
Through a variety of literary techniques, it is apparent Cormac McCarthy is concerned with the themes of survival, death and paternal love within The Road. Early on, the father demonstrates his ability to survive through knowledge that has remained with him before the apocalypse. However as the novel progresses the widespread expertise and awareness procured from his father, ensures the son is the more capable of surviving against the elements.
The fathers undying love for his kin
“The boy was all that stood between him and death”

“You have my whole heart. You always did.”

“What would you do if I died? If you died I would want to die too. So you could be with me? Yes. So I could be with you".

“Each the others world entire.”

"I cant. I cant hold my son dead in my arms. I thought I could but I cant. You said you wouldnt ever leave me. I know. I'm sorry"

"When he woke in the woods in the dark and the cold of the night he'd reach out to touch the child sleeping beside him".
The fathers undying love for his kin
"Offer it each phantom crumb and shield it from harm with your body".
The can of cola is also symbolic of happiness and joy, and evidently the society that has preexisted".

The father urges the boy to drink the cola, along with other foodstuffs (canned fruit) rather than using it to salvage his poor health.

"You're the best guy. You always were. If I'm not here you can still talk to me. You can talk to me and I'll talk to you. You'll see".
Full transcript