11 November 2010
Theme of Hope
Hope in the face of adversity, hope in spite of the depression and mere survival they must endure, hope in the face of death and fear. One of the major themes that Cormac McCarthy emphasizes in The Road is hope: hope for a better world, hope that there are still good people out there. McCarthy uses the son as a symbol of hope throughout the novel to engage and grasp the attention of his readers. Hope is what progresses the novel, therefore without hope there is nothing.
The sons character is a symbol of hope to the father throughout the novel. In the father’s perspective the son is almost described as holy, “if he is not the word of god. god never spoke”, which gives the sense that the boy is precious to the man and that the boy is the father’s hope like a god is a religious persons hope. This is again shown with “the boy was his warrant” which again shows how the boy is what the man lives for. Not only is the son a symbol of hope to the father, but to the readers as well. The boy also gives a sense of hope to the reader. This is from his sense of goodness and innocence, the way he gave food to the old man at the side of the road, which in this world the reader gets a sense that goodness and innocence is unheard of. This gives this bleak, horrific, world a feeling of humanity, a feeling that gives the destroyed world a future “Goodness will find the little boy. It always has. It will again.”
In the road the road there is a repeated reference to “carrying the fire” which is a symbol of hope. It symbolizes that mankind will always live on through any circumstances. When the father dies he tells the son that he is now carrying the flame which shows the fathers hope for a better future or merely just a future for the boy. The symbol of hope is also presented in the struggle of heading toward the south, the hope for a better place. Once the father and son reach the...