In the novel, The Road, the boy’s character is a sign of hope, which the father tells him throughout the novel, that he is carrying the fire. The way the father views the boy is almost like if he was angel sent from heaven. The boy is everything to the father and would not let him die. This shows that the father only lives for the boy and no one else ever since his wife committed suicide for her selfish ways. The wife thought she knew if she would stay alive eventually they would all get killed or get eaten.
He carries the fire, which he believes is his son. His son provides meaning for his life and exhibits goodness. The Road takes place in a post apocalyptic world, the setting is barren, silent, godless. (McCarthy, 4) It’s easy for the man to question why he should keep on going, but he manages by telling himself that he carries the fire, his son. The man’s deceased wife once told him that he couldn’t survive for himself, he has to survive for someone else.
As seen at the beginning of the novel, Johnny is the boy from the wrong side of the track, and while the story unrolls, Johnny starts to become a hero. Johnny's selfless action of saving kids from a fire and not regretting his choice makes him a hero. The second quality that makes Johnny a hero is his empathy towards others and his actions. At the beginning of the novel, Johnny was known as the "lost puppy." He was never one to think the best of himself, he was humble and shy.
The man fell back instantly and lay with blood bubbling from the hole in his forehead.”(66) The sigh of relief and adrenaline perceived by the father when seeing his son in danger in the hands of another thus clarifies the man’s true love and affection that he discerns for the boy. Pursuing this further, food, water and shelter are resources which are limited on the island and burdensome to find. The father continuous thrives in search for food, water and shelter risked his life multiple times. His duty to provide the boy with the resources and keep the boy healthy and sheltered is a responsibility and the man’s first and only priority. Consistently,
The narrator was cruel and made him touch it, with major accomplishments the final quote “Don’t leave me brother, don’t leave me.” (Hurst) [Doodle] Fully out of self pride, the narrator was fed up with his brother, he hated hauling him around all day and he truthfully in the narrator’s eyes “A burden in many ways” (Hurst) The day that the narrator started teaching his brother to walk, was a memorable one, he acted as if it was out of love, but it was truthfully out of self pride. It was grueling to force Doodle’s body to move correctly and not falter, The narrator acted as if it was to help his brother, and have a better outcome for the world, but he truthfully did it out of pride because he didn’t want the humiliation of an invalid brother. Doodle learned out to walk, but the narrator wouldn’t stop there. He forced his brother to do more grueling tasks. “Do you want to be different from everyone else when you start school?” (Hurst) [Narrator] “Does it make a different?” (Hurst) [Doodle] The narrator forced his brother into something that they couldn’t find a way out, “The net of expectations” (Hurst) The tasks were too hard for little Doodle, he became
This scene helps to continue the desperate tone the narrator developed. The pain is very intense, yet the man know that his survival lays between whether or not he can start the fire. His hands are his only way of keeping his life. Although, in the end he loses both. When focusing on the symbol of the dog, we see that the dog represents the reality and instinct of the story.
Turning from a prideful boy to being merciful toward his dead brother. In fact, it all began when his brother was born, “with a tiny body which was red and shriveled like an old man’s” (595). Doodle is weakened and incapable of doing activities normal kids do at his age. The narrator encourages Doodle to keep on pushing, but no sooner does the narrator learn that pushing Doddle over his limitations will sooner or later kill him. The narrator kills Doodle indirectly, as a consequence of the lack of knowledge he has about Doodle’s medical issues, and as said before, being enveloped in pride.
In the book “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy the two protagonists, a boy and his father, are set out in a post apocalyptic world where everything is trying to kill them from cannibals to people with nothing. Their main goal is to travel down a road south where the climate is better for living. On their journey they encounter many life threatening obstacles including starvation and “bad guys” that they must overcome to survive. The paternal bond between the father and son is what pushes them beyond what could have been possible and allowed them to make it along their journey. Throughout the novel the father's love for his son pushes him to protect him no matter the risks.
Upon curiosity, the boy asks the man what is the bravest thing he has done; to which the man responds, “getting up this morning” (272) after spitting bloody phlegm on the road. The man knows that they boy is the faint spark of hope for whoever could be alive. This boy is so naive and unaware of how inhuman everyone has turned because he was born into this apocalyptic setting where violence and greed seem to be more vital than hope. The man continues walking on the road where so many have lost their lives just so the faint spark of hope does not completely fade away. McCarthy constantly tries to convince the reader that the man is hopeless.
Some of the boys moved at once, ducking their heads and hunched over. Others sat frozen, their eyes and mouths open wide Salva covered his head with his hands and looked side to side in panic.” (Linda Sue Park pg.5-6) This made Salva more brave because he had to leave his village due to war. He has no idea where his family is or if they’re even safe. Salva was very brave for being able to do this and keep walking farther away from his tribe every day. Another factor that made Salva more brave was when he had to watch his uncle be killed.
With having a fire always going at night seems to give an image that as long as there is a fire, they would be alright. When the father is dying he tells his son, “You have to carry the fire…It’s inside you. It was always there” (McCarthy 279). All the boy wanted was to be with his father and when he’s finally leaving him to die, he knows he has to keep going for his father. Fire can be described in many ways as a light to keep on moving.
He only hurts others when they have threatened the boy 's survival. We can tell that in order to ensure the boy’s safety, his father can do anything to protect his kid. Moreover, he says, “He could not construct for the child 's pleasure the world he 'd lost without constructing the loss as well and he thought perhaps the child had known this better than he” (154). For the father, the earth enjoyed by the man during his own childhood is a planet that no longer existed to the boy. When the man considers
The Road is set in a grim atmosphere. It is after apocalypse world where all signs of life are extinct. People and animals are starving, and predatory groups of savages wander around with pieces of human bodies stuck in their teeth. It is both oppressive and disheartening. McCarthy sets an atmosphere like one mediately after the world wars.
They encountered a man on the road that had been struck by lightning and was also suffering from starvation. The boy wanted to turn back and help the wounded stranger, but the man had to explain to the boy that they did not have enough of anything to share with him (McCarthy 49-52). They barely had enough to take care of themselves, and if they gave away anything that they had, they would be more likely to starve. It was a decision between their own lives and others’. There was also another occasion where the man and boy were on the beach and were robbed of most of their belongings (McCarthy).