Cormac McCarthy – The Road (Pages 1-16)
In The Road, the first 16 pages give the reader a good perspective of the novel. The reader learns that the world has undergone a dramatic change. The world seems post-apocalyptic, and there is nothing much that remains. Two characters are presented but are not described in any way; we only know that they are labeled as ‘the man’ and ‘the boy’ who are father and son. McCarthy does not give description to ‘the man’ or ‘the boy’, but there actions and dialogues give the reader some sort of understanding of the characters. McCarthy could be labeling the characters ‘the man ‘and ‘the boy’ to show the effects on mankind after this catastrophe. By labeling them ‘the man’ and ‘the boy’, it could be that McCarthy is trying to universalize his characters, showing how much of a change there has been in the novel after the tragedy which has transformed the earth. McCarthy has been very vague about the form and setting, from the opening pages, the reader still does not have a clear understanding of where exactly the novel is set or where ‘the man’ and ‘the boy’ are going. The month/date has not been clarified either as the narrative voice says ‘it could have been October’. The narrative voice talks about ‘the man’ and ‘the boy’ going south. Also the narrative mentions a ‘gas’ station and McCarthy has used a different spelling of particular words (gray instead of grey) which gives the hint that the novel is set in America. From the beginning, the reader can gather a different sense of language, structure and form, then from a regular novel. Cormac McCarthy uses structure to set up his novel to reader, irregularly. From the opening pages, there are no chapters or speech directions. As we read on we learn that McCarthy has created a setting of a post-apocalyptic world. McCarthy may have done this to suggest a link between structure and setting. By not including punctuation and other structures such as chapters, Cormac McCarthy creates...
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