Monday, November 25, 2013

McCarthy's Created World

McCarthey's Created World:

Literal World... 

Even though we never find out what happened to this world, McCarthy still paints a vivid and horrifying picture of what the world would look like without order, society, culture and human life Constantly, like almost every page, McCarthy mentions how everything is covered in ash or soot, which leads us to believe that it was some sort of explosion, with fire, but again we do not know. The ash covers everything which sets the eerie idea that all this we had worked for as a world can be destroyed in such quick manner, and it all becomes for naught. What good is technology, and school and businesses if there is nobody to work, no place to sell or no society to invent? The ash and soot is how the old world is covered up and rendered useless by the apocalyptic event.

Like most books the beginning often provides the background and setting to the book, and it happens here, and the passage I really like as a description of the world is on page 6, it is the bottom paragraph that continues onto page 7. The man and boy come upon an old gas station and the gas station is just overrun by the environment and it is covered in dust and ash. The weeds that are growing on it are pushed aside by the man. The man looks in the gas pumps for any gas but it is all gone, only the faint smell of it is still lingering there, just like how most of our old world is gone but it still lingers around and remnants from the old world still pop up. The man has to look through the trash for useful items, "Dust and ash everywhere." This once nice gas station is a dump and everything in it is damp, ruined and useless, just like the old world items.,

McCarthy wanted to make a world that was destroyed and ruined, where all society is lost and man actually has to revert to old, simplistic ways to survive. Its a run back in time, instead of progressing forward in life, which we want to do, we are actually regressing, and being forced to use ideas and tactics we never thought we would need to. With all society and moral obligations thrown out the door, all usual/normal societal pressures are gone. Such as how we should use full, complete sentences to speak, and how we should look up to and respect out father. McCarthy often uses fragments to describe things and when the two talk its often brief and quick. Why should we speak in full sentences? Who said we have to? If the other person can understand the gist of what I am saying what difference does it make? The sentence length he uses is a parallel to the world the son and boy live in.

Big Themes in The Road.... G.O.D.



In a world where, clearly, everything is lost, it is very interesting that McCarthy would let the man and his son keep their faith in their own religion. What good is religion, like anything else, at this time? Well, I feel when people face adversity or harm, and they want to keep hope and faith in something in order to keep going, religion is often a common place to look. Especially in this post-apocalyptic world of The Road where the man and his son have no faith or trust in anyone else, they truly need something to keep going and religion provides them with some sort of comfort in a place where you can never be truly comfortable. Yet, I find it interesting that the man never actually expresses his true search\ for hope in religion, meaning he never actually states or does something that would key us to his asking of God for help/hope. But, McCarthy seemingly never uses it in the same way. We had the scene of the man (12) on his knees trying to talk to God, and, in my opinion, questioning whether God is even real and that he is actually helping them in some way. Later on though, on page 111, the man uses God as a word to express haste for the boy to get moving and start to get out of that house with the people. Speaking of the boy, I cannot remember, up to page 113, where the boy actually talks about God and faith, it is seemingly always the man speaking. So maybe, it is something we messaged in class, its the idea of a God- Jesus relationship, where the man is God, in a sense, and he is trying to have the boy as his son where he can project his ideas and beliefs into him. Its a stretch, but I do think its there for the boy to be this Jesus-esk character.   

Questions for The Road (updated per reading)

31-53, 53-72, 73-93


Why would the boy and man enter the freezing cold pond under the waterfall? Was it simply to clean themselves or was it something to maybe lift their spirits?

Are the father's insecurities about meeting other survivors hurting their chances of survival? Why is he so reluctant of others/ to leave anything for anyone to see?

What was going on in the man's exchange with his wife? I presumed it was a flashback, but what was with the bullets?

Is the man knowledgable about certain areas in life, because he knew some parts of the brain and speed of sound during the exchange with that man? He also shoots the man in the head while the other man is holding his son. Seems to me like he is a good shot, that is not something many people could do as quickly as he did and accurately.


The man refers to his son as god like (75). Why does he have such respect and admiration for his son, yet his wife had almost no respect for him? Why such a rift?

I was confused by the dog scene. I thought it said it was following them, but the man couldn't catch it. Then it left. What was going on exactly, why do they need a dog anyways?


Is there some relationship between the man and son using "God" so often, yet when they meet the people in the grand old mansion, they use Christ often? Why the difference?

I wonder if the boy is starting to doubt his father because he did not want to go into the mansion initially, then he did, because his father did not want to. Is the son growing up in this dark world starting to learn the ways of life and catch onto to ideas?