The Sea In Cormac Mccarthy's The Road

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The open seas are simultaneously a boon and a curse to travelers; they represent freedom to sail to any part of the world, but not before Mother Nature tests their endurance with turbulent weather. In some cases, that weather is too ferocious for the passengers and results in a shipwreck that also has positive and negative consequences. The ones involved undergo life changing events that alter their own attitude of themselves and the surroundings as well their attitudes towards others. In The Road, Cormac McCarthy highlights the boat scene to provide deeper insight of their desolate world that helps to redefine the man more than any other scene. Shipwrecks are unfortunate for the ones on board, but in this novel they represent and a sense…show more content…
For the first time in the novel the boy wanted to accompany the man as he investigated a site, but the man refused to take the boy with him because “someone has to take care of things.”(223) Earlier in the novel, the man was always portrayed as the more responsible one and allotted menial tasks to the boy; however, this shows that the man considers the boy to be more mature and worthy of greater responsibility. The man senses that the boat might present some horrors and addresses this concern by involving the boy in his mission as the lookout, an important player in most ventures. Even after the thoroughly searching the boat for items, the man does not panic when the boy loses the pistol and instead of blaming the boy for his error the man takes some of the blame as most mature equals do. Similarly, the man appears physically different to signify the mental attitude shift towards the boy. As soon as the man emerged from the boat the boy “stood up in alarm,” because he did not realize it was actually the man, McCarthy included this to show the change in mental state of the man as a whole and towards the boy. (225) The boat scene compelled the man to realize that he will not last longer and needs to instill survival skills in the boy if he is to live after the man dies; entrusting the boy as a lookout is one measure he
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