The Road by Cormac Mccarthy

Topics: Religion, Family, The Road Pages: 3 (1311 words) Published: August 27, 2013
The Road by Cormac McCarthy is a novel set in a post-apocalyptic world following the path of a Father and Son. McCarthy is a highly celebrated award-winning author. He is 78 years old and has an 8-year-old son – an uncommon circumstance – underlining that for him, death is imminent and prompting him to consider the ideas discussed in his novel. In The Road, the father is undergoing a crisis of faith and so adopts an Existentialist view and creates meaning through his son – who therefore influences many of his actions. I found McCarthy’s use of techniques such as juxtaposition and antithesis that counter the macabre images throughout the book with those of love between the father and Son both repulsive and fascinating at the same time. The earth is in a state of despair – there is no electricity, transport or access to food/water. Much of humanity has turned feral, losing all sense of the moral code that makes us human. McCarthy uses the Mother and Father to show conflicting choices made in this environment. The Fathers choice was to live because of the belief he has in his child, which he formed in his despair. “If he is not the word of God than God never spoke.’’ Because of the nightmarish situation the world has been placed in, he finds it hard to hold onto his religious beliefs concerning God and so instead looks to find another meaning in life to give him reason to continue – his son. If the son is not worth keeping alive then everything that he once believed in must be false. On the other hand, the mother takes a nihilistic view. “Why don’t we talk about death anymore? Because it is here. There is nothing left to talk about.” She chooses to kill herself, as she believes that there is no point prolonging the inevitable. “They will rape us, kill us and eat us.” This represents a grotesque corruption of parenthood. For the mother to take such drastic measures we realise the true gravity and hopelessness of the situation. However, even though the mother can see...
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