The Road

Imagery and Themes Establish McCarthy's Views in The Road 12th Grade

Cormac McCarthy uses a variety of literary techniques in “The Road” to establish his views on a wide range of themes.

First, the manner in which McCarthy describes the scenes throughout the novel distinctly conveys the bleak world he has created. Punctuation is notably scarce as simple grammatical rules are ignored (such as the use of commas, hyphens, etc) – this keeps to the minimalistic style of the novel, stripping the content down to the bare essentials. McCarthy seems to play around with this style, as he experiments with the use of contractions – for example, on page 2, he uses an apostrophe in “there’d” but dismisses any possibility of regularity of this in “hadnt”. The use of this literary device creates a somewhat ambiguous response in the reader, as the author’s intentions are unclear and misty, similar to the atmosphere of the setting. It is also noted that McCarthy avoids using quotation marks, thereby integrating dialogue with exposition, perhaps portraying the feelings of the characters in the novel; these details are considered unimportant and perhaps even trivial in the post-apocalyptic world. Likewise, occasionally indentations are not used to distinguish the beginning of speech, instead bleeding into the prose...

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