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Geography Matters By Thomas C. Foster: Chapter Summary

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In the chapter “Geography Matters”, Thomas C. Foster explains the effect of geography on a story. Geography contributes greatly to themes, symbols, and plot, and most authors prefer to use setting as a general area with a detailed landscape rather than a specific city or landmark. In Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, he does not reveal the actual region of America that the man and boy are traveling in, but describes the mountains and eventual beaches of their path. McCarthy might not have revealed their location because it might ruin the reader’s interpretation of the setting. For example, the pair come across a generic “gap” between mountains and this is a turning point because it confirms the man’s planned path to the south. In addition, going south symbolizes hope, a new beginning,…show more content…
Foster explains that almost all readers know that warmer months, most of the time, symbolize rebirth and happiness, while colder represent decay and sadness. This is true of the time frame of The Road, they are in an eternal winter because the disaster released so much ash that no sunlight could reach the earth’s surface. This makes their journey even harder because not they not only have to overcome fear and starvation, but also the cold. Towards the end of their journey, the monotony of their days and the coldness is emphasized to show that the man was getting sicker and closer towards death. McCarthy might have chosen a cold earth to make their trials seem more worse because the man and boy had to look for both food and supplies to keep them safe and warm. When the boy had a fever, it was almost unbearable to read because the man had to unwrap him from his blankets so that his fever would go down. McCarthy’s description of the harsh climate allows readers to picture the setting and how it affected the boy and man’s
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