Lucien F. Coppola IV
Comparative Analysis Essay #2
Prof. Matthew Bissell
Comparative Analysis Essay, on Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, incorporating ‘All These Things He Saw and Did Not See’ by Hannah Clark and ‘Between Dystopia and Utopia’ by Inger-Anne Søfting.
A post-apocalyptic world or the inevitable end of the world have been major discussions that have been talked about for thousands of years. From the predictions of Nostradamus to the Mayan calendar saying that December 21st 2012 would be the end of the world, the way the human race goes out has been a major topic that everyone has discussed for the entire time humans have existed on this Earth. Taking this topic into text, Hannah Clark and Inger-Anne Softing examine the dystopian and utopian values this post-apocalyptic world that this father and son live in. Nature is a big factor into the possible downfall of the setting that is taking place in McCarthy’s novel. The Road is mentioned as one of the strongest dramatic books to read that leaves the reader to imagine what has happened to the planet that we knew as Earth. The Road depicts the world as it would be when all remnants of society have fallen apart. The cultural context of the Father and son forces them to lose some traits of humanity is central to their survival within their dystopia. The nightmare that is their reality leaves them no choice but to conform to the “Barren.Silent.Godless.” world, at least to an extent, if they have any hope of surviving. For Inger Anne Softing, Between Dystopia and Utopia: The Post-Apocalyptic Discourse of Cormac McCarthy, the central analytic review talks about the post-apocalyptic world and how though society has ended, some people’s morals haven’t been lost. Even as they are living in the wake of a dystopian cannibalistic world, there are still “good guys”. However, survival of the fittest plays a big factor. Hannah Clark however is mainly concerned with the fact that this world is all caused my global warming. There is no doubt in the authors head that this was caused my nothing else other than global warming. Her textual evidence is backed up by quoting “‘raw dead limbs’ (40), ‘a waste of weeds’ (192), ‘dry seedpods’ (231), ‘dead seaoats’ (236)”. These are things that are generally caused by global warming. Both Clark and Softing view the novel as a questionable but amazing piece of literature, where the reader is not sure where everything is taken place and in what year, but are well aware of the nothingness and de-creped wasteland that Cormac McCarthy visually details in his text. In the article, Between Dystopia and Utopia: The Post-Apocalyptic Discourse of Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, the article “examines the relationship between good and evil and hope and despair in Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road”. Inger-Anne Softing argues that it is the story of man against the elements, and it is a matter of life or death; not only the life and death of its individual characters but of humanity as such. External space, the natural physical world, constitutes a strong dystopian element, while inner space, the psychological inner life of the characters, constitutes a utopian element. The opposing nature of land and the two “good guys” being the father and the son are at the center of discussion in this article. Softing’s article is very interesting and discusses several view points on how to view the society that is currently living in this novel. Hannah Clark’s article redundantly repeats itself on how the novel is all caused by climate change and that it is a huge book to read into today’s environmental studies class. The article also examines the way that environmental anxiety manifests in this text not only through the vision of a future earth that has been devastated, but is also argued through “a more symbolic and allegorical level through the metaphoric place of vision, sight, and...
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