Cormac McCarthy’s fictional novel The Road is a captivating tale of survival in a post-nuclear civilization full of murderers and cannibals. In this barren and unforgiving world, a man and his son travel through the ashes of the old Republic in search of food and shelter. As one might expect, the novel is very dark. McCarthy uses a great deal of devices, such as: imagery, foreshadowing and irony to show how the boy reconciles his desires to become independent. Imagine a world so dark, that the skies are grey and the ground is torn to pieces. Where there is no civilization present, nor another human being to be seen.
Where the feeling of hunger influences you to consider the idea of devouring human flesh. A world where murder and crime is the norm and needed for survival. Imagine the air thick with black clouds and snow being so gray it is indistinguishable from the clouds. Amongst all that, you see a slither of light. The only hope left on this god forgotten land. The only purity that you live for. This is a how the author describes the scene around the antagonists.
This allows the readers understand the characters more. How the father sees the his son, to be the final hope for humanity. The father will do anything to protect his son from harm. This includes the idea of not letting the boy grow up. From the beginning of the novel the boy has shown obedience towards his father. For the boy to become independent he must first break the link of obedience.For the boy to be able to break the link between him and his father, he must understand that that the link exists.
He must understand that his father will not be with him forever. On page 47, the author includes a new interesting detail about the father. It is that he is sick , he is coughing blood and it seems like, if it is not treated, the father will die soon. The author then repeats the coughing of the father to remind the readers that the father is not doing to well. The coughing becomes more frequent and seems as if more deadlier. This foreshadows the father’s death, from the beginning of the coughing till the end.
The child, being as smart as he is, understood that his father is dying. This concludes that the child has already begun to slowly break the link between him and his father. We see evidence of this on page 87. The boy encountered another child in an oversized jacket in a city. The little child disappears without a word, but the boy calls out to him and is very sad to leave him behind.
This is the first time the boy comes very close to breaking the obedience link. When the boy saw the child he did not even overthink twice to follow the little child and not listen to his father’s commands.Ironic is it not? Like all fathers in this world , our antagonist biggest fear is seeing his child grow up, becoming independent. Yet he wants the very best for his boy. Wound it not be best for the boy to become independent? On page 246 the man whispers that he will not send the boy “into the darkness alone.
” stating that the father will not let his son die. But ironically soon enough the father is close to death, he tells his son to move on that he has grown up and become independent now. The father has accepted that the boy is ready to become and adelut , eve nat such a young age(presumably 10)Regardless of the many burnt bodies, ghastly horrors, evils, and vanished ethics of the human race that The Road portrays, the novel depicts an ambiguous hope in the possibility that independents lies deep within the human frame.
This attitude makes The Road a profound and interesting work of art.