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  • Topic: Cormac McCarthy, Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, The Road
  • Pages : 7 (2527 words )
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  • Published : February 10, 2013
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Independent Novel Project
By: Justin Ward
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Characters:
The Man-
The Man, also known as the father in the book, travels throughout the novel with his young son. He feels like he is specifically on this world to protect his son, and he does anything to do so. Everything The Man does seems to be done out of consideration of the boy. Because of his devotion to the boy, The Man remains paranoid and cautious of others, especially of people he does not know. The Man's love for his son, gives him a sort of heroic quality, and brings out a tough, fierce side of him. -"The man had already dropped to the ground and he swung with him and leveled the pistol and fired from a two-handed position balanced on both knees at a distance of six feet. The man fell back instantly and lay with blood bubbling from the hole in his forehead." (102. 56). In the scene, we see The Man doesn't play around about his son. The Man sets a bad guy on fire with his flare gun and leaves a thief in the middle of the road without any clothes. This scene is important because we see the extreme The Man will go to to protect his beloved son. He will literally kill any person that puts his son in danger. The Boy-

The Boy is born into the post-apocalyptic world, so he knows nothing before the catastrophe. The Boy is constantly thinking of others, and while traveling the road with his father, The Boy continuously displays his faith in humanity and his humbling trust in others. Even despite, their near experiences with violence and death, The Boy is constantly pleading with his father to help others in need. - "What if that little boy doesnt have anybody to take care of him? he said. What if he doesnt have a papa? There are people out there. They were just hiding. . . I'm afraid for that little boy. I know. But he'll be all right. We should go get him, Papa. We could get him and take him with us. We could take him and we could take the dog. The dog could catch something to eat. We cant. And I'd give that little boy half of my food. Stop it. We cant. He was crying again. What about the little boy? he sobbed. What about the little boy?" (132.2-132.12). This scene shows the unselfish generosity in The Boy. In this instance, The Boy can see himself in the little kid, which is why he sobs over the little, presumably also sobbing over his own misery. He depends so much of his life on his father, so he can't imagine another little kid going through the situations that they go through in the apocalyptic world, without a guardian helping him. The Man in the Truck-

The Man in The Truck can also be sort of the antagonist of the novel. The Man in the Trucks exchanges words with The Man and his son about them joining his group. The Man though does not trust a word coming from this man and doesn't pay his plea any attention. The Man in the Truck suddenly grabs the boy and holds a knife to his throat, threatening to kill him. The father then pulls out a gun , and shoots The Man in the Truck in the head, killing him. -"This was the first human being other than the boy that he'd spoken to in more than a year. My brother at last. The reptilian calculations in those cold and shifting eyes. The gray and rotting teeth. Claggy with human flesh. Who has made of the world a lie every word." (118.1). This scene with The Man in the Trucks is important because it makes us question the character of The Man. With the showdown with The Man in the Truck, we see a ruthless side of The Man that makes us wonder is The Man really any different from the "bad people" he comes in contact with, or does he really only act the way he does in consideration for his son. Setting:

The setting of The Road is set in the future, at some indeterminate time. The novel occurs after a nuclear holocaust has wiped out nearly all of the inhabitants of the earth, and most certainly most of civilization and all of its comforts. The landscape and the air are soaked in thick, gray ash....
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