• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In Cormac McCarthys novel The Road, the author uses the color and overall concept of gray to create a vacuous world that pierces deep into the readers soul.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Bray-Morris JD Bray-Morris March 14, 2011 Ms. Mundy-Castle AP Lit. An Examination of ?Gray? Symbolism in The Road In Cormac McCarthy?s novel The Road, the author uses the color and overall concept of gray to create a vacuous world that pierces deep into the reader?s soul. Gray, as defined by The New Oxford American Dictionary, is ? Lacking in brightness, vividness, or life?. McCarthy approaches this concept in several different ways to effectually fashion a poignant atmosphere that sucks the reader in completely. This is most literally achieved through his description of the setting, but also symbolically through his minimalist style and the way in which he characterizes the inhumanity of ?the bad guys? in the story. Finally, he also contrasts the gray world with the ?fire? that the man and boy carry. This one source of color serves as a symbol for hope in an eternally bleak environment. Each of these open a new layer of possible interpretations to The Road and lead us also to question just how gray our own world really is. ...read more.

Middle

Grimacing at the day. He pulled the boy closer. Just remember that the things you put into your head are there forever, he said. You might want to think about that (12). Not only is the imagery in the scene clear and powerful, but he also raises questions in the reader?s mind that reach beyond the man and boy. The passage pulls one?s own dark side and gray nature into the story. McCarthy leaves room for people to fill the ominous and colorless void with their own ideas and fears of darkness and numbness? He is asking: What do you have stuck in your head that you wish you never did? Finally, the dark epicenter of the novel is reinforced by the utter selfishness and lack of humanity that pervades the remainder of society; people turning on one another and reverting back to primal methods of survival of the fittest: Behind them came wagons drawn by slaves in harness and piled with goods of war and after that the women, perhaps a dozen in number, ...read more.

Conclusion

To the extent that the novel resonates with the real world, the message is the same: people like the boy always carry the fire. The truth, however, is that our world is shockingly similar the one in The Road, with far too many people seeming to choose self-preservation at the cost of genuine human concern for others. Our more complex world is not so simple as the tradeoff involved in killing others in order to survive, but McCarthy points out to us our human nature - the fire of human compassion is often extinguished when we encounter adversity. The world McCarthy immerses us in with The Road, is one that we can all too easily relate to. Through his potent style and choice of setting he gives us the tools to vividly construct an ultimately gray landscape and fill it with our own personal demons. His message about humanity?s inhumanity also adds a layer that we can compare to our own society. In effect, he not only places us in the shoes of the man and boy, but also transports our individual selves into the desolate environment along side that infamous road. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Other Criticism & Comparison essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The English Patient

    5 star(s)

    When he got out of the pit, he realized there was a crowd around, far too close to the bomb. They would have been destroyed if the bomb had exploded. But all Kip could think about was how he was not frightened in the pit, just angry at his mistake.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Within the three texts, Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, Look back in Anger by ...

    4 star(s)

    his stereotypes which abound in his poetry could be seen as limitations on his judgement. A contemporary critic of Larkin, Alverez wrote that Larkin was wrong to assume that ?life in England goes on much as it always has... a belief that life is always more or less orderly and polite?[21].

  1. An exploration of Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World

    Although both the novels provide a group of people that still represent our modern way of life, they are despised and those of higher status still seek to oppress them. In 1984, thoughts were controlled through constant policing by the Thought Police.

  2. Structure of the Novel The Mayor of the Casterbridge

    These events leave the mayor post empty and Farfrae seems to be the most eligible man for it. Farfrae's vast progression in his hay-and-corn business and his humble attitude towards people win the hearts of the village's community members. Thus, he is elected to be the next mayor of Casterbridge.

  1. Wuthering Heights Setting

    This first stanza indicates that something once beautiful is dying, most probably the relationship between the two characters. Bronte incorporates an image of locks and keys repeatedly throughout the novel Wuthering Heights. Imagery of locks and keys can be discovered in places, characters and events both literally, physically and figuratively.

  2. A Comparison of the imagery and symbolism in Birdsong and Fair Stood the Wind ...

    The sexual scene in Birdsong also happens to connect well to its other major symbol: Red. The colour red appears frequently in Birdsong and is generally associated with passion and extremities. Before giving in to sexual temptation, Stephen fantasises over Isabelle and shows her apparent 'frustration' by the use of the colour white.

  1. Compare the ways the writers of your texts create a sense of fear in ...

    or spoken about, much like in Dorian Gray, in which again, issues are eluded to but never specifically spoken about.

  2. Explore the corruption of morality and its consequences within the texts of Othello, The ...

    In contrast to this, In ?Enduring Love?, Jed has an infatuated belief that Joe loves him and that ?there?s nothing I can do but return your love.? Jed he believes that through a higher powerful entity ?To bring you to God, through love? Joe will eventually love him.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work