The Road

The Road: Hope for an Obliterated World?

The post-apocalyptical novel, The Road, by Cormac McCarthy, explores the perseverance of a man and his son to survive in an obliterated world. The novel is a modern quest demonstrating faith in man’s power to rejuvenate himself through trust and perseverance.

The bitter, hostile setting of the novel is set in a gray world without meaning, without color, reflecting the grave hopelessness of modern times. The novel takes place in the aftermath of an unknown catastrophe: the skies grey, the rivers black, and color only a memory. Perpetual ash falls from the sky, already covering the ground. The only possessions worth having are food and clothes. Corpses, charred or burned, are littered throughout the road, and the dreams of the man and the boy are “ensepulchered within their crozzled hearts.” Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. This destroyed world coincides with the traits of the father and the son; it is difficult for the characters to find purpose in a world with no color or light leading them. The father is an active representation of hopelessness for the future: “With the first gray light he rose and left the boy sleeping and walked out to the road and squatted and...

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