“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-/ I took the one less traveled by,/ And that has made all the difference,” (Robert Frost). What Robert Frost deals with in his poem, The Road Not Taken, is deciding which way to turn when forced to make a decision. How do you know which path to take? How do you know which way will take you a little closer to being the moral person that we should all wish to be? Sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you make the decision right. Cormac McCarthy deals with the same dilemma in his novel The Road. The story tells the tale of a boy and his father, traveling south to escape the hard winter that is falling in a world devastated by a nuclear war. Along the way, they encounter other survivors, cannibals, and rapists. McCarthy uses his book to examine why it is that some humans continue to hope in the face of such overwhelming odds, and why it is that others give up in the same situations at the specific moments they do.
The father, who, like his son, remains unnamed throughout the entire story, feels obligated to keep on living to protect his remaining flesh and blood; his only son. His loyalty to his son is so deep that when his son asked, “What would you do if I died?” (McCarthy 11), the father replies, “If you died I would want to die too…So I could be with you,” (McCarthy 11). The father loves his son so much that he cannot possibly go on without him. The man is constantly being faced with the opportunity to kill himself and his son yet time after time he chooses to live in this bleak world. The boy is a little sliver of hope in a place filled with despair. It has been the man and his son against the world for a long time and the father would be willing to kill himself because he views it as his job as a father to be self-sacrificial. The father also tries to look for the good in their world and share it whenever the opportunity arises. When the father finds a Coca Cola, he gives it to his son...
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