The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Cormac McCarthy, a novelist and playwright, has written ten novels. He has received the National Book Award in 1992 for All the Pretty Horses. In 2005 he wrote No Country for Old Men which was adapted into a film in 2007 which ended up winning four Academy Awards and Best Picture. He received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2007 for The Road which is now also being produced into a motion picture.

Cormac McCarthy often writes his novels in the following three genres: Southern Gothic, Western, and Post-Apocalyptic. He adds specific elements and themes to add to the suspense in The Road. Death is a very common theme that was portrayed throughout the novel, setting the tone and the mood of the entire storyline. Overall, the journey was very morbid, a defining characteristic to the novel. The dialogue added a very interesting effect to the reader. McCarthy never identifies who says each quote; instead, the author uses the tone of the quotations to aid the reader in determining the speaker. Considering that there are only two main characters, McCarthy's primary purpose in using this technique is to better engage the reader. The dialogue between the man and boy is just as repetitive as the plot as they continue their never ending journey. The author's word choice is fairly simple to understand, making the novel an easy read also allowing the reader follow the story line.
The Road portrays the lives of a father and son in a post-apocalyptic world and the journey they must take to reach the shore in search of better conditions. However, the sky is forever gray from ash and the air is eternally cold. The father and the boy travel cautiously, always aware of their surroundings, and always fearful of the cannibalistic humanity that may be following them. A “survival of the fittest” society is evident as the father and son take advantage of any available food and supplies. All they posses is a shopping cart, scarce food supplies, a gun with two bullets, and each other. The boy was really all that the father has to live for. The father is always reassuring his son that “We're not going to die” (McCarthy 94), and that “You have my whole heart.” (McCarthy 279). It was his goal throughout the book to keep his son alive. The boy's innocence was very well portrayed in the novel by his remarks and actions. He always wanted to help others, even when he didn't understand why they couldn't. He also repeated his fathers' words, and did whatever he is told. The father, on the other hand, is very conscious about their situation. Their journey greatly reflects the father and son relationship in times of severe hardship.
This novel was very unique in scope; the aspects of this novel were very outlandish and just not common in any other novel. If you're looking for an adventurous suspense novel then this is the perfect novel. The plot was very twisting and future events were difficult to determine. One would just have to finish the novel to form their own conjectures. Another very interesting factor to the novel was the ending. It was very similar to No Country for Old Men since McCarthy left the ending very open; this allowed the reader to answer the questions, what will happen to the boy in a few years? Will they still be alive? And how will the world end up becoming?





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