Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs In The Road

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The Road: A Breakdown of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs In Cormac McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic novel, “The Road”, a man and his young son find themselves on a journey fighting for survival through a dark and desolate world. With no identity or any hope in the future, the characters are faced with many compromising decisions. Two levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the physiological and safety levels provide the most motivation and validation for the characters’ actions throughout the novel. There are 5 major levels to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs; physiological, safety, emotional, esteem, and self-actualization (Maslow 1). The way that this system works is that in order to achieve the fifth level of fulfillment of needs, you must first meet…show more content…
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). If they did not chase the thief down and retrieve them, they would have most definitely suffered. The thief’s explanation for what he did was because he was starving and didn’t want to die. His needs were not being met either. Events turned up for the man and his son later on in the novel when they come across an abandoned house with a bunker full of stored food and goods (McCarthy 138). For the first time on their journey they had an acceptable place to live. Physiological needs such as shelter, food, and water were finally met. Although this was only a temporary stay, the man and his son got enough of what they needed at the moment too remain alive and needs were

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