How does this pertain to the real world? Consider this saying, "Conflict brings out the best and worst in humanity", how does this relate to the novel?
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I think the conflict over the apocalypse has brought out the worst in humanity. When desperation and survival is at stake in a dying world, McCarthy seems to cast a bleak picture of humanity. People forget all morals and become the "bad guys", sinking to horrid depravity like the eating of babies. I think McCarthy’s scenario is a realistic vision of what might happen in the real world if an apocalypse of this sort took place. When things go that wrong in the world the remaining people will not handle the last vestiges of life: they will descend into madness and savagery. The only good we see in this novel is the heart of the boy and the love the man has for his son. They handle conflict by loving each other. .