Symbolism In Cormac Mccarthy's The Road

1031 Words5 Pages
Ashen Alleys to the South A country in desolation, few humans remain, and nature in complete shambles. Under the cover of ash clouds, setting retains the tone of “The Road.” It not only sets the backdrop of the novel, but continually affects the father and son. Their surroundings cause physical, psychological, and even spiritual issues. Without the daunting background, Cormac McCarthy could not have created such a compelling story with characters that drive our hearts to the breaking point. Health risks spanned from the horrendous environment. The origin of the apocalypse is unknown, but the father did hear concussions then identifies a “dull rose glow” (52) one morning that altered the country from then on. The land was uninhabited, the trees were all dead, and ash flew all over creating a grey murk (4). The ash that fluttered around was a major hindrance for the man and his son. They had to wear masks to cover their face so they would not inhale the murk, but the father still seemed to have a reoccurring respiratory problem. He had coughing fits (54) that were quite normal at first…show more content…
Naturally, fire is thought of in conjunction with destruction, but in a survival sense it signifies hope and warmth. Carrying the fire basically means that even though all the odds are against the father and son they are still pushing forward. It is something to live for when truly there isn’t. At the end of the story, when the father dies, the boy has to continue on the legacy without him. When he stumbles upon a man who asks if he wants to join their family the boy immediately asks if he’s carrying the fire. The man responds, “Am I what?” (283). Obviously carrying the fire is not a concept everyone lives by and this is finally made known to the kid, but he still insists that if he is going to live with someone new they must be holding the fire too. The man agrees that they
Open Document