Themes In Cormac Mccarthy's The Road

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George Allen Sr., a renowned American politician, once simply and elegantly stated, “One of the most difficult things everyone has to learn is that for your life you must keep fighting and adjusting if you hope to survive. No matter who you are or what your position is you must keep fighting for whatever it is you desire to achieve” (np). This quote encompasses one of the central themes in the book, The Road, by Cormac McCarthy. This pulitzer prize winning author challenges the rules of the English language to create a fascinating piece of literature that truly allows one to question societal norms. Published on September 26, 2006, this post-apocalyptic tale follows the journey of a man and his son across a barren landscape where an unspecified…show more content…
The climax of the novel is the death of the man which marks the end of an educative process between father and son. Leading up to the death of his father, the boy matures with every new lesson endowed upon him. During his final moments with his father, the boy “...sat beside him and (he) was crying and (he) couldn’t stop” (McCarthy 286). One can truly visualize the alliance between father and son that has only been strengthened through the challenges encountered. The man 's death symbolizes a loss of hope in the boy, but a motive that pushes him towards living the rest of his life through the final wishes of his father. Through his grief at the loss of his best friend, the boy whispers to the spirit of his father, “I’ll talk to you everyday...I won’t forget. No matter what” (McCarthy 286). With the use of diction, McCarthy appeals to pathos as he hints to the omnipresent spirit of the man that encompasses the boy’s daily actions. He has come to terms with the fact that he must fight for his own survival and “then he rose and turned and walked back out to the road” (McCarthy 286). The act of turning around and leaving his father by returning to “the road” is a huge stepping stone for the boy which is a clear representation of all that he has learned. The road is a symbol of the desolate nature of the…show more content…
As the man progressed through his journey with his son, his realization of death strengthened the bond between him and the boy. As the boy grew up with the changing reality of his father’s growing sickness, he began to accept the fact that he would soon be on his own and have to undergo the desolate world by himself. Both underwent momentous transformations through the course of the novel. The man, whose sole purpose was to protect his son, soon came to terms with his death and sought to bestow knowledge onto his son necessary for survival. The boy, who was extremely young towards the beginning of the novel, gradually begins to mature under the growing strain of his father’s forthcoming death. They both thrive under the support they receive from one another, and the loss of their alliances, depicted beautifully through McCarthy’s emotional words, reflects the persistent need to survive amongst imperceivable
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