Symbolism In The Road By Cormac Mccarthy

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In the post-apocalyptic novel, The Road, Cormac McCarthy reveals the appalling realization behind the desolate, derelict, and deteriorated society in which the protagonists, the man and the boy, experience with “a single round left in the revolver” (68). McCarthy portrays this contrastingly different Earth as “barren, silent, [and] godless” (4), depicting that the world in which the man and the boy live grows grayer and grayer as each hopeless day trudges on. While the perilous battle between survival and upholding morality stomp down the perpetual path to hope; bloodthirsty cannibals, ruthless gangs, and crippling starvation bombard the man and the boy, conclusively crushing the previously limited hope and spirit trapped “beyond the numbness and the dull despair” (88). The “richness of [the] vanished world” (139) depletes indefinitely as the protagonists plod…show more content…
As the unjust and cruel calamities of the apocalypse agonize the man and the boy, McCarthy enables grim diction, repugnant imagery, and strident symbolism to showcase the theme of the novel; one must know when to leave in a time of desperation in order for their loved ones to have a lucrative and hope-filled future.
In their pre-apocalyptic lives, the man and the mother’s world was so “rich in color” (21), that “the sky was aching blue” (18) and they were “each the other 's world entire” (6), but when the “long shear of light” (52) blinded God himself, “[the man] would [eventually] have ample time later to think about” (107) the atrocity that just changed their lives for eternity, nonetheless, the man struggles to comfort the mother in this time of anguish,“We’re survivors.” (55). However, McCarthy characterizes the mother as a realist, she retorts, “We’re not survivors. We’re the walking dead in a horror film. I should have done it a long time ago, when there were three bullets in the gun instead of two.” (55). McCarthy employs the
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