The Role Of The Son In Cormac Mccarthy's The Road

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In Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, an unnamed father and son make their way across the desolate, ash-covered southern United States with only sparse resources and their hope keeping them alive and moving. Through trials and tribulations both the father and son come to maintain a certain idea of humanity and ethics, and though the father wavers at points, the son corrects him and they continue to “Carry the fire.” of humanity. The book ends with the father dying, and after staying with the body for three days, the son is met by a group of travellers who take him in and continue their journey with him, keeping the proverbial fire alive for the foreseeable future. Through symbolism like the aforementioned three days spent with the corpse of the father, and direct statements by characters, McCarthy clearly intends for God to be a large thematic element of the story, and through the somber and melancholic tones of the novel, offers an ending full of hope, not just for the son, but for humanity as a sort of rebirth, similar to the cleansing of sin from the world through Jesus’ sacrifice.…show more content…
I was appointed to do that by God,”(McCarthy 77). The Father’s role as protector of not only the son and their ethics, such as not eating people, but humanity and civilization that both ultimately represent can make the father out to be a martyr figure, with many attributes similar to Jesus. The most compelling of these is in the very end of the novel with the father’s death. After succumbing to his injuries and illness, the father finally dies in the night with the boy next to him. The boy spends three days with the body, directly referencing the resurrection of Christ. After the father has died, the boy can now live in a new world, without his father in the literal sense, but with his father’s spirit always with
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