The Road: Essay
By Aaron Bellam
History has had little conscience when it comes to human suffering and struggle. The world has brought us murder, torture, and terror in the packages of war, politics, and everyday human relationships. Religious battles keep racism, greed, and suffering real. The positive is not always apparent when one looks at human existence. Aside from the physical struggle humans had to endure and overcome, emotions also challenge us in hard times. Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, a story set after an apocalypse, takes the characters beyond physical challenges like cold and hunger. In their dystopia, the characters must also face their emotional struggles. As they journey across the dark, barren land, the boy and his father experience the feelings of desperation, fear and hope. The first emotion that urges the pair on in their journey is desperation. The father and son are desperate for many things; food, warmth, and not to be caught and raped by others. As well; the two are desperate to find and share with other good guys. The man and his emaciated bay have such a strong desperation to find food and food is so scarce that the pair finds “the bones of a small animal dismembered and placed in a pile, possibly a cat”. (McCarthy.2006.Pg26) This find is proof that other survivors have turned to alternate forms of food to try and give themselves energy for the trek. Warmth is another huge luxury that the father and his boy wish they had. After a find of supplies in an abandoned house, they ‘sat wrapped in the quilt naked while the man held the boy’s feet to his stomach to warm them. (McCarthy. 2006.Pg31). The man is obviously willing to do anything; he is determined to keep his son warm and comfortable, even if it takes away from his own comfort. Hiding from people looking to catch others to eat is a further element of despair the two are forced to cope with. Cannibals roam this dystopia. After finding people in a cellar, some with limbs chopped...
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