The story is set in a post-apocalyptic world, date and place unnamed, though the reader can assume it's somewhere in what was the United States because the man tells the boy that they're walking the "state roads.
Stylistically, the writing is very fragmented and sparse from the beginning, which reflects the barren and bleak landscape through which the man and boy are traveling.
McCarthy also chooses to use no quotation marks in dialogue and for some contractions, he leaves out the apostrophes. Because this is a post-apocalyptic story, the exemption of these punctuation elements might serve as a way for McCarthy to indicate that in this new world, remnants of the old world — like electricity, running water, and humanity — no longer exist, or they exist in very limited amounts.
While the boy sleeps, the man reflects upon one of his dreams of a creature with dead eyes. The man's dreams play a large role throughout the novel; the man tells both himself and the boy that good dreams are to be feared because they indicate a form of acceptance, and that death would inevitably be near.
Bad dreams, on the other hand, are reassuring because they demonstrate that the man and boy are still persevering in the world they inhabit.
From the start, it's clear that the boy is all the man worries about. He is all the man has, and the man believes that he's been entrusted by God to protect the boy. He keeps a pistol with him at all times, unless he goes inside a house.
Then he gives the pistol to the boy. The pistol, though, only has two bullets.
The man, too, is all the boy has. When the boy wakes, they set out on the road yet again, making their way through a "nuclear winter" that follows them from start to finish as they make their way south to the coast, hoping to find a better life there, although the man knows there's no reason for him to hope that things will be different for them there.
They have a grocery cart with them, filled with their belongings and supplies for their journey. They are running low on food, and the man is fighting a bad cough, one that sprays blood on the gray snow. They come upon towns and cities that are mere shells of what they once were. Remnants of the old world often — like houses, billboards, and hotels — clash with the reality of the new world, reminding the man of the life he once lived.
The man remembers an evening spent on the lake with his uncle. And he remembers his wife — who left him and the boy, presumably to kill herself and escape this horrible new world. In one grocery store, the man finds a pop machine that has a single Coca-Cola in it. He retrieves it for the boy and lets him drink it.
The man likes to offer whatever he can to his son to make his world a bit more pleasant and to give him glimpses into the world that existed before him. The man and boy come upon the house where the man grew up.
The boy is scared of this house, as he is of many of the houses. The boy worries they'll run into someone, like the roadagents or bad guys who eat people in order to survive. The man has decided, too, that should roadagents find them, that he will kill the boy so that they cannot torture him, but he often wonders to himself if he would be able to do it if the time should ever come.
They come upon a waterfall and the man and boy swim together, the man teaching the boy how to float. It's a tender moment that suggests lessons that fathers would have taught their sons in the old world. Throughout the novel there are moments like this one at the waterfall, scenes that prove the bond between fathers and sons still exist in this new world.
It exists, in many ways, just as it did before. The father cares for his son, and teaches his son, and worries about his son's future under such uncertain circumstances. The boy is very concerned with making sure they are "carrying the fire," assuring himself that he and his father are the good guys as opposed to the bad guys who eat dogs and other people.In the novel, The Road, the two main characters are on a journey to the coast.
They are unyielding to get there. The whole structure of the novel goes towards this final destination. Dec 02, · Watch video · The Man and The Boy have 1 gun with 2 bullets left; they are not being reserved for potential assailants.
In some of the movie's most agonizing scenes, we see The Man explain not only what must be done but why/10(K). When a roadrat (one of the "bad guys" who steals and murders) tries to take The Boy hostage, The Man responds pretty much like an action hero in a movie would.
He drops to his knees, pivots, and fires straight into the roadrat's forehead. Jan 17, · Tash wrote: "I think McCarthy is asking us to look at the world through the boy's eyes. To have faith and believe in people. Whether the boy lives or dies is really not the point.
The point is to have hope, " I end up pretty much where you end up with this additional thought. I don't think that the boy was optimistic in the pollyanna sense. Upstate NY Road Trips. The most unusual grave in Upstate NY has tiny window to honor boy's final wish.
Although, the man knows in his heart that death is inevitable and dangerously close, he continues to live for the sake of the boy whom he believes carries the final hope for humanity.
In Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, the author conveys that although there can be despair and bloodshed in the world, love overcomes all with a little faith.