Cormac Mccarthy The Road Hope

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In the 2006 novel The Road by Cormac McCarthy, a man and his son struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. Told through a lens of constant hardship, the book follows their arduous journey towards a coast in order to survive the winter. Throughout the novel, McCarthy shows that having hope enables people to persevere in dire circumstances because it counteracts the possibility of negative outcomes.
First, the woman’s monologue about her death displays the despair necessary to abandon all hope. In this scene, the man recalls the final conversation he had with his wife, the boy’s mother. She expresses her plans to commit suicide, while the man begs her to stay alive. To begin, the woman’s discussion of dreams definitively establishes a mood of despair. In the
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However, her perseverance only extends to her plans for death. She furthers this by describing her "whorish heart". Her usage of "whorish" signifies frequent thoughts of death as a desirable outcome, though she still views it as an imperfect solution. Due to its substantial negative connotation, “whorish” also implies infidelity and irrational thought. Accordingly, the woman’s heart is the site of all her emotions, and holds great anguish due to being “ripped out” when the boy was born. Wishing for death is contrary to living with her child, and the disparity between those ideas is strong enough to ‘rip out’ her heart. Even so, the woman still chooses suicide, demonstrating the complete and utter hopelessness she felt.
Next, the man’s last conversation with the boy before he dies shows hope manifesting the sake of survival. Here, the man’s health is failing substantially and he knows he will soon die. The boy takes care of him as they talk one last time. Most prominently, the symbol of “the fire” (McCarthy 278) and carrying it are used to display hope and virtue. The man often uses ‘carrying the fire’ as a way to
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