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The Road - Classic American Novel Prezi Project

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Stephen Haverstick

on 3 May 2011

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Transcript of The Road - Classic American Novel Prezi Project

The Road Cormac McCarthy Born in Rhode Island July 20, 1933 Raised Roman Catholic Catholic High School in Knoxville Tennessee Majored in liberal arts
at Univeristy of Tennessee 1953 - 1957 After 4 years in Air force, Cormac moved to Chicago to work as auto mechanic. Married Lee Holleman in 1962. Had a son, Cullen McCarthy. Divorced Lee a year later in 1963 Remarried Anne Delisle while in England.
In 1966, he divorced Anne and moved from England. In 1968, Cormac moved to El Paso, Texas McCarthy's The Orchard Keeper - 1965 The Outer Dark - 1968 Child of God - 1974 Suttree - 1979 Works Blood Meridian - 1985 All the Pretty Horses - 1992 The Crossing - 1994 Cities of the Plain - 1998 The Road - 2006 By He still lives
there today. The Road details a seemingly hopeless journey by an unnamed father and son. In attempt to escape another impending deadly winter, the father leads his boy south, along a vacant road towards the coast. Together they cross a desolate post-apocalyptic American landscape, some years after a devastating, unexplained cataclysm burned most life on Earth. Inspired only by the vague hope of finding warmth and more "good guys”, father and son endure the perils of a burdensome course with only a pistol, a supermarket cart, and a mutual love that keeps two people alive in the face of total devastation. Summary Cormac McCarthy Biography Themes Steadfast love Death Despite an overlying tone of hopelessness conveyed by the post-apocalyptic setting, The Road possesses a majestic love story at its core that endures admist the darkness and destruction. "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." - page 1 McCarthy opens the story in the first line with this tender display of love by the father to his son even though they both lie in a world consumed by cold and darkness. The father shows that his life is not worth living without the love and presence of his boy. [The Boy:] "Can I ask you something?
[The Man:] Yes. Of course you can.
[The Boy:] What would you do if I died?
[The Man:] If you died I would want to die too.
[The Boy:] So you could be with me?
[The Man:] Yes. So I could be with you.
[The Boy:] Okay." - page 11 The love for the boy is the only reason the man desires to continue living. Earlier, the reader learns that the wife committed suicide because of the futile living condition, but the steadfast love between the man and the boy still exists. Even in the darkest hours, the two still display a passionate, steadfast love for each other "He [the boy] looked like something out of a death camp.
Starved, exhausted, sick with fear.
He leaned and kissed him." - page 117 Like a vow in holy matrimony, the father honors his promise to love for his son even in the hardest times [The Boy:] "Just take me with you.
[The Man:] I cant.
[The Boy:] Please, Papa.
[The Man:] I cant. I cant hold my son dead in my arms. I thought I could but I cant.
[The Boy:] You said you wouldnt ever leave me.
[The Man:] I know. I'm sorry. You have my whole heart. You always did. 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." - page 279 As the father is dying, he demonstrates his utmost love for the boy by not killing him so they both could die in peace, but intstead promises the boy that not even death can seperate the two from for each other. They will forever be connected by their love. "He cried for a long time. I'll talk to you every day, he whispered. And I wont forget. No matter what. - page 286 The heartbreaking ending and boy's emotions reveal the true love and trust the two had for each other. Just as his father had promised to stay with him, the boy promises to obey his father and never forget the man each day. "Can I ask you something? he said.

[The Man:] Yes. Of course.

[The Boy:] Are we going to die?

[The Man:] Sometime. Not now." - page 10 Although the apocalyptic setting is the primary source of the theme, the characters words also display an presence of death. Despite their relentlessness to continue the journey admist the destruction, both characters realize that in the end, death is unconquerable. "He [The Man] was beginning to think that death was finally upon
them and that they should find some place to hide where they would not be found." - page 175 Because it is such a prominent theme in The Road, McCarthy occasionally characterizes death as if it was human. Throughout the book, the man occastionally senses the presence death and here tries to hide it. McCarthy often personifies death in this way. McCarthy's most blatant use of the theme appears in his vivid and illustrious descriptions of the apocalyptic setting in which the two encounter frequently on their journey. "By then all stores of food had give out and murder was everywhere upon the land. The world soon to be largely opopulated by men who would eat yourchildren in from of your eyes and cities themselves held by cores of blackened looters...like shoppers in the commissaries of hell." - page 181 The references to "hell," "murder," and cannibalism help McCarthy define the setting of this story as a world consumed by death and destruction. "What the boy had seen was a charred human infant headless and gutted and blackening on the spit." - page 198 The most devastating and disturbing image seen here by the boy and his father examplifies the power of death in a single example. McCarthy emphasizes his message even more by using the most innocent of characters: a human infant. 21st Centutry
Literary Movement Dramatic increase in the acceptablility of literature of all types Inspired by millions of coming of age readers who grew up with G.K. Chesterton J. R. R. Tolkien, and C.S. Lewis. The New Weird Literary genre that began in 1990s and culminated in series of stories and novels published from 2001 - 2005 Primarily horror and/or speculative fiction but often crossed multiple genre boundries Notable authors include China Miéville and Jeff VanderMeer Although The Road (2006) isn't considered apart of the New Weird genre, its post-apocalyptic setting and elements of horror/speculative fiction may have been influenced by this 21st century literary movement. Major Historical
Events September 11, 2001 War on Terror Hurricane Katrina (2005) Indian Ocean Tsunami (2004) Nuclear Power/Weapons 8.7 Indonesian Quake (2005) Since The Road has a post-apocalyptic setting with a cataclysm of some sort,
McCarthy may have been influenced by these historical catastrophes and
developments that all took place during the time he was writing the book Works Cited "20th - 21st Century sites: Literature: MIT Libraries." MIT Libraries, MIT Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2011. <http://libraries.mit.edu/guides/subjects McCarthy, Cormac. The road . New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006. Print. "New Weird - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New "Significant Earthquakes & Disasters | MCEER Information Service." MCEER, from Earthquake Engineering to Extreme Events | Home Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2011. <http://mceer.buffalo.edu/infoservice "The Road: Cormac McCarthy." Random House - Bringing you the best in fiction, nonfiction, and children's books.. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 May 2011. <http://www.randomhouse.com/kvpa
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