the road interpretation of the woman

Topics: World, Cormac McCarthy, Mother Pages: 2 (809 words) Published: September 26, 2013

Throughout The Road, Cormac McCarthy draws a very heavy line in the sand between giving up and persevering. Very often, this line in the sand adheres to strict gender lines: while women are shown to "give up" in one form or another, the father and son who struggle down the post-Apocalyptic road tell themselves, "This is what the good guys do. They keep trying. They don't give up" (). After closer reading of the text, reveals that "not giving up" is not always the lesser of two evils. McCarthy places an emphasis on the mother's body as a vessel of creation, the only form of creation in a world filled with death and destruction: "Always so deliberate, hardly surprised by the most outlandish events. A creation perfectly evolved to meet its own end. [...] A few nights later she gave birth in their bed by the light of a drycell lamp." While she labours to create a child, however, "Her cries meant nothing to [the father]" (54): as a man, he does not identify with this labour-as-creation . In fact, there doesn't even seem to be a memory of creation once the mother is gone. When the father and son find the charred remains of a roasted baby, the boy asks, "Where did they find it?" because, in a male-centric world, they are capable only of scavenging canned goods and old shoes (200). The idea of someone creating the baby is an alien one to a boy who has grown up only in the ravaged landscape that is now the world. Throughout the novel, the father closely associates his wife with the world-as-it-was, a green and verdant pre-apocalyptic landscape: "In dreams his pale bride came to him out of a green and leafy canopy. Her nipples pipeclayed and her rib bones painted white." Since she embodied a time of bliss, nevertheless, not only does the wife and mother have no place in the new world of death and deprivation, but even her recollection is out of place: “He mistrusted all of that. He said the right dreams for a man in peril were dreams of peril and all else was the...
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