The Road

Describe Ely, and explain the differences in how the man and the boy respond to him. Consider also why the boy gives food to Ely even though Ely admits later in the section that he would not do the same.

The Road By: Cormac McCarthy

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Ely is an old man who shares his name with the biblical prophet (Eli) from the Book of Samuel. Eli in The Road, seems like a prophet of sorts but he also sounds a little crazy. He speaks in riddles that make half sense. The man wants nothing to do with Ely. Other people are dangerous and the man wants to avoid any people they encounter. The boy feels empathy for Ely. The boy, very much a Christ figure, feels Ely's pain and must do something to abate it. The boy is simply the last goodness in a dead world that is past redemption.