The Road

Section 21- pages 253-270 q 4

Explain the manʼs punishment of the thief. Do you think he did the right thing?

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The father decides to hunt down the robbers, so they track the prints. They find the thief pushing their cart and wielding a butcher’s knife. The man aims the pistol at the thief. “He was an outcast from one of the communes and the fingers of his right hand had been cut away” (215). The man cocks his pistol and warns the thief to step away from their cart. The boy begs his father not to kill the thief. Accordingly, the father instead forces the thief to take off all of his clothes and put them in the cart.

The man leaves the thief naked on the side of the road. “I’m going to leave you the way you left us” (217). The boy cries and continues to look back at the thief as they return to their camp. The man tells him to stop crying. Nonetheless, the boy insists that they could still save the thief, who “was just hungry, Papa. He’s going to die” (218). When the man points out that his son is not the one who must worry about the danger, the boy replies, “Yes I am, he said. I am the one” (218).

The father could have killed the thief, and I believe he would have if the son hadn't begged him not to. Instead, he punished the thief in the same way that he and his son were punished.... he left the men with nothing. The last part of your question requires your opinion.