The Road, Cormac Mccarhy

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In the novel ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy there are various devices and textual features to show us the positive side of human existence. These instances of the positive side of human existence are in the end directly related to the father and the boy. During various times in the novel we are shown different instances of positive human existence that the father and the boy portray to the reader. The novel name itself ‘The Road’ is a metaphor of positive human existence, as the father and the boy are on a journey to find their security and safety. Their hope and their ability to keep fighting in the tough times shows the reader that they are remaining positive and want to make it to the end of the road alive and together.

The novel has presented the world around the father and the boy to be a dark and forbidding place to be. A world that is no where near safe enough for a young boy to be. Having to trek around in treacherous conditions and living each day not knowing whether they are safe or not from any danger. We see an example of positive human existence when the father and the boy don’t feel as if they can go on anymore and all is becoming too hard, the father is able to comfort the boy by saying that things will be ok because “We are carrying the fire”. In a world that seems to have illimitable darkness this perception of “Carrying the fire” provides the father and the boy with hope to carry on. This perception of the fire and the hope that it brings is made ever brighter by the fact that they are surrounded by such darkness.

The will of the father and the boy to stay alive is amazing. They are faced with many hardships and events where they could have easily given up. At one stage the father remembers back to when the mother was alive and when they had one of their last conversations, the mother committed suicide. Although during this last conversation between the father and the mother the mother talks about how “there is nothing left to stand on”....
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