Love In Cormac Mccarthy's The Road

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Picture a world so devoid of any type of life, that life itself is a rarity. Picture a world where survival may mean making a choice between being a “good guy” or a “bad guy” and more often than not, people choose to be a “bad guy.” Consider this: Where does parental love end? In an interview in 2004 with Oprah Winfrey, novelist Cormac McCarthy mentions that his four-year-old son, John, inspired and practically co-wrote his novel, The Road. McCarthy sheepishly admitted, “I suppose it is a love story to my son”. One might ask how on earth a book about a post-apocalyptic world that has dissolved into desperate means of survival could possibly be a way of expressing parental love for a child, especially considering the world in which we live…show more content…
The Man takes care of The Boy to the absolute best of his ability, but a lack of supplies and ample medicine makes it difficult. The Man starts considering the possibility that The Boy will die and murmurs “I will do what I promised, he whispered. No matter what. I will not send you into the darkness alone.” (McCarthy 247-248). There are two ways this could be read. The first way is that The Man is saying if The Boy dies, he will in turn kill himself so they may go through death together. The second way it can be read is that on the off chance The Boy does live and The Man starts to die, The Man will kill The Boy so he does not have to try to survive alone with the possibility of being captured and raped. The Man’s motive is love; he does not want to leave The Boy to go on either way alone. However, when The Man does officially start to die he realizes he cannot kill his son. “I cant. I cant hold my son dead in my arms. I thought I could but I cant. [sic] ”(McCarthy 278). This is also love. The Man realizes how devastating it would be to take the life of this child he has cared for with so much effort for so long. The two men have overcome so many obstacles, and killing him now would mean that everything before was just delaying their inevitable end. The Man knows that he promised himself he would not make The Boy go on alone, but what a tragedy it would be if The Boy had to stop right now just because The Man
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