Hope and Despair for Humanity in "The Road"

Topics: Cormac McCarthy, Man, Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction Pages: 3 (939 words) Published: May 2, 2013
Hope and Despair for Humanity

“The Road” expresses a vision of the author of the post-apocalyptic world. Human nature is revealed in its extreme. In such a circumstance, the author explores the despair and the state of which people are going through. At the same time, the author manages to incorporate hope and despair from the events and people the father and the boy meet. Cormac McCarthy uses a dark tone throughout novel, especially when unfolding the world’s state. After an unknown disaster, the world turns to an apocalyptic state. The current state is described: Charred and limbless trunks of trees stretching away on every side. Ash moving Over the road and the sagging hands of blind wire strung from the blackened light- poles whining thinly in the wind. A burned house in a clearing and beyond that a reach of meadowlands stark and gray and a raw red mudbank where a roadworks lay abandoned. Farther along were billboards advertising motels. Everything as it once had been save faded and weathered. (McCarthy 8)

Clearly the world has been in ruins and everything is decaying. Chaos continues to occur; earthquakes, falling trees and the cold, bitter weather. The boy is surprised by this, but his father assures him by telling him, “it’s just a tree falling” (35). Along with the destruction, rule and order has disappeared. The people are left to their own survival. With scarce supplies, people grow desperate for food and this result in cannibalism. People lose hope in the revival of the old world. As people gradually become accustomed to eating other humans, they will do anything it takes to get the food and keep it edible. The boy and the father discover a disgusting sight; people kept alive only as a form of food. The father witnesses a group of people “huddled against the back wall” and “a man with his legs gone to the hip and the stumps of them blackened and burnt” (110). The fall of hope intensifies our despair for humanity. Morality becomes insignificant...
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