As the father is dying, he tells his son he must go on in order to "carry the fire." When the boy asks if the fire is real, the father says, " It's inside you. It was always there. I can see it". What is this fire? Why is it so crucial that they not let it die?
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There is someting special in the boy. He is kind and good in a world that has rotted away. Certainly the boy radiates empathy. The boy seems to hold the last vestiges of humanity left in this fallen world; the boy is hope. Indeed the father says in his narrative that, "All I know is the child is my warrant, and if he is not the word of God, then God never spoke." I wouldn't go as far as to say the boy is God but he seems to be a Christ-figure . In a world that has become Hell, the boy reaches out to strangers that might harm him. He truly personifies hope on a damned planet.
How is McCarthy able to make the post-apocalyptic world of The Road seem so real and utterly terrifying? Which descriptive passages are especially vivid and visceral in their depiction of his blasted landscape? What do you find to be the most horrifying features of his world and the survivors who inhabit it?