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Cormac Mccarthy Symbolism In The Road

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The Father’s Sun Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road is known as one of the best books written in the last 25 years. McCarthy uses several linguistic and literary devices to illustrate the character’s feelings in the reader’s brain. McCarthy uses symbolism throughout the entire book. He symbolizes “the fire” that the boy is carrying and how the difference between fighting and giving up.
This symbolism is part of a bigger literary analysis that I read this novel through. The literary analysis is called Formalism and it is used to separate everything apart from the novel to just read the novel in its raw state to find the symbols and meaning behind the text. In Victor Erlich’s work Russian Formalism, he speaks of what Formalism is. Elich proclaims “The locus of peculiarly literary was to be sought in not in the author’s or the reader’s psyche, but in the work itself.” (Erlich 628) What Elrich is saying is that when you read a novel you should look for what is actually in the novel rather than looking at the
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The sun is used in Plato’s Allegory Of The Cave as a source of hope, but the sun never comes out in The Road. This means that they have to find a source of hope elsewhere, therefore they create hope within themselves and symbolize it to make it more tangible to themselves. Carol Juge wrote about this in her work The Road to the Sun They Cannot See: Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, Oblivion, and Guidance in Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Juge describes “a father and his son to the south in hopes of a better life (or a life at all) under a sun that remains unseen behind impenetrable cloud coverage and the omnipresent threat of death.”(Juge 17) The “fire” is created as a diversion of the sun because they cannot see the sun. They create the “fire” within themselves to make a diversion of the hope that the sun created for them until it was hidden behind the “impenetrable cloud”.(Juge
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