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The Road Symbolism

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by

Michelle Le

on 3 June 2013

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Transcript of The Road Symbolism

Winter, Alyssa, Irina, Michelle The Road Symbolism The setting takes place in an apocalyptic future where a road is no longer a means to get from one place to another, but is a remembrance of the past.
The title is symbolic of the journey that the dad and the boy take on to get to the coast.
The road can represent hope, courage, good vs. evil (whether you choose the path of good or the path of evil)
It can also symbolize their constant traveling, never staying longer than a week in any one house or shelter before getting back on the road. Domestic life has pretty much been obliterated. The Road The can of coke is symbolic of the old world. It is a glimpse of the old world, an old world icon. Gone and never to be seen again, and gone with it everything that used to be.
The coke cola stands for the symbol of society. In our society we are used to familiar brands through advertisement and it connects people around the world as it is so well-known. Coca Cola The wife in the Road could represent the freedom of choice in America and it could also represent how women have the freedom to decide their own fate now as opposed to when women had no rights. On page fifty six the wife tells the man that she would rather kill herself than have the possibility of being found and raped. Her making that decision shows how women have the power to make their own choices now as opposed to a hundred years ago. The Wife Fire in the road represents civilization and success.
Without fire the man and the boy probably would have froze to death, so fire could also represent security.
Fire often provide the son and his father protection. It is a symbol to them of what allows them to keep going and to keep surviving in what should be impossible circumstances.
The product of fire is also important. Ash is spread throughout the novel: “The ashes of the late world” (p. 10) reminds the reader of cremation. The old world has died and has been put to rest. The ashes have not been scattered in a memorable place however but cast out all over the new world that carries on regardless. The debris must be kicked around and disturbed, never letting the past in peace. Fire The Boy symbolizes hope to the new world as well as holy figure in many ways. McCarthy often describes The Boy using religious symbols and language. On page 4, McCarthy describes how The Father feels about his son:
“He knew only that the child was his warrant. He said: If he is not the word of God, God never spoke”.
The Boy is constantly thinking of others such as the people on the road less fortunate (Ely), the people whose houses they stay in, the people who left food in which they found (bunker), and even the people on the road who wanted to harm (man from the truck). The Boy The Boy symbolizes hope to the new world as well as holy figure in many ways. McCarthy often describes The Boy using religious symbols and language. On page 4, McCarthy describes how The Father feels about his son:
“He knew only that the child was his warrant. He said: If he is not the word of God, God never spoke”.
The Boy is constantly thinking of others such as the people on the road less fortunate (Ely), the people whose houses they stay in, the people who left food in which they found (bunker), and even the people on the road who wanted to harm (man from the truck).
The Boy sometimes seems like a child who inspires the Man to goodness, constantly wanting to help the people they encounter. The Man relies on the boy for comfort and a prime source of motivation to live. The Boy represents kindness and innocence. The Father On the outskirts of the city they came to a supermarket. [. . .] By the door were two softdrink machines that had been tilted over into the floor and opened with a prybar. Coins everywhere in the ash. He sat and ran his hand around the works of the gutted machines and in the second one it closed over a cold metal cylinder. He withdrew it slowly and sat looking at a Coca-Cola. (35.1) The Boy sometimes seems like a child who inspires the Man to goodness, constantly wanting to help the people they encounter. The Man relies on the boy for comfort and a prime source of motivation to live. The Boy represents kindness and innocence.
The Father often seems burdened by the past, not only by the loss of his wife, but also the knowledge of life before the disaster. He is a representation of the past as he often reminds the boy of what everything was like before the apocalypse (ie, the color of the sea, the animals, coca cola). His death may represent the ability for the boy to move on with his own life without being stuck in the past. The Sea The sea symbolizes death or a final lost of hope. Though the man and the boy have reached the ocean as they hoped, neither of them feels fulfilled or happy by it. The Boy had anticipated the sea to be blue like his father had described but was disappointed when the sea turned out to be gray with no signs of wildlife. The sea is a continuation of the wasteland of death in which the story is set. It is scattered with the dead remains of fish, birds and weeds. Even the ship’s contents were apparently destroyed by the sea and not by anyone else.

When The Boy cries after swimming in the sea, it is probably for several reasons. The ocean has probably not met his hopes. They have come so far but they are not in any better situation than they were. The sea is actually a huge barrier to further progress across the whole east. It is also the location of the man’s death. Cannibals In The Road there are many obstacles the father and son have to face. One of these obstacles are the Cannibals. The man and son run into Cannibals in the book when they find a house with naked people in the basement. They barely make it away from the house when the four men and two women come back to catch them. Even though this book has barely any food for the people in this book, cannibalism is still viewed as wrong. That only the "bad guys" do it. This can also be seen in our society. If you hear of someone being a cannibal it is seen as wrong, or gross, or unnatural. The author showed the same view of cannibals in the book. Trees During the novel we know that the trees are dying and falling down around the father and son because the father describes it. The symbol of the trees could mean that life is dying itself. The population on earth is decaying just like the environment. When a tree falls down it could be seen as another person losing their life.
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