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Themes and style in "The Road", written by Cormac McCarthy.

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Introduction

The Road, written by Cormac McCarthy, is a dystopian novel where a man and a boy are trying to survive in a world where moral and order have disappeared, driving humans to commit deliberate acts of cannibalism and murder. It represents the desire of never losing your principles, even if you are starving or dying. It also shows the strong relationship between an unnamed father and his son. In this outline, I will describe main themes that surround the story, such as social conditions, setting statement, and the relation between dreams and reality. Besides that, I will also introduce the stylistic features that are included in this novel. 1. Place, time and weather conditions 1. Place and Temporality 1. The story starts in a post-apocalyptic world that is destroyed and covered with ash. 1. ?Like the onset of some cold glaucoma dimming away the world? (Page 1. The Road) 2. ?Ash moving over the road and the sagging hands of blind wire strung from the blackened lightpoles whining thinly in the wind? (Page 2. The Road) 3. Cars in the street caked with ash, everything covered with ash and dust. (Page 1. The Road) 1. Vegetation has died because of the apocalyptic event that took place in the past, which eradicate almost every life signal. Buildings and houses were destroyed and isolation is present. 1. ?The segments of road down there among the dead trees. Looking for anything of color.? (Page 2. The Road) 2. ?A burned house in a clearing and beyond that a reach of meadow-lands stark and gray and a raw red mudbank where a roadworks lay abandoned? (Page 3. The Road) 1. Time and place are never mentioned as specific decades or locations, but we can deduce that the boy and the man are walking in what once was a developed country with roads, houses and gas stations. Time can be inferred by technology that the book includes such as cars and televisions. ...read more.

Middle

Oh God? (Page 3. The Road) 3. ?The man had already dropped to the ground and he swung with him and leveled the pistol and fired from a two-handed position balanced on both knees at a distance of six feet. The man fell back instantly and lay with blood bubbling from the hole in his forehead.? (Page 20. The Road) 1. The Man identifies his son as his "warrant" ? which means the child provides him with a reason to live. 1. ?The one thing I can tell you is that you won't survive for yourself. I know because I would never have come this far. A person who had no one would be well advised to cobble together some passable ghost. He is your only hope and you didn?t notice that? (Page 17. The Road) 2. ?No I'm not. Keep the gun with you at all times. You need to find the good guys but you cant take any chances. No chances. Do you hear? I want to be with you. You cant. Please. You are always taking care of me. Dont leave me. You say im The One Papa.? (Page 91. The Road) 1. Special bond between parent and child 1. As we read, we can find details that show us the relation between the boy and the man, and how the man still has those ?old world traditions? such as giving him Coca Cola or encouraging him to swim, which are lessons that fathers from the ?old world? would have taught to their children. 1. ?He withdrew his hand slowly and sat looking at a Coca Cola. What is it, Papa? It's a treat. For you. What is it? Here. Sit down. He put his thumbnail under the aluminum clip on the top of the can and opened it. He leaned his nose to the slight fizz coming from the can and then handed it to the boy. Go ahead, he said. The boy took the can. It's bubbly, he said. ...read more.

Conclusion

Yes. Because we're carrying the fire.? (Page 25. The Road) 1. The Road symbolizes hope, courage, good vs. evil (whether you choose the life path of good or the life path of evil). It also represents the ?Keep moving forward? ideology. 1. ?Then they walked out to the road and he took the boy's hand and they went to the top of the hill where the road crested and where they could see out over the darkening country to the south. There were not too far away from their objective? (Page 2. The Road) 2. ?That road has been their home for almost all the boy?s life. It was not just a path that they must follow. It was his home? (Page 46. The Road) 1. Anonymity 1. Stylistic feature where the author never names a character, place or thing, to create a sensation of generality, where that situation can fit in any other situation. It makes it easier for the author to be identified. 1. Neither the man nor the child have names which gives the novel a feeling that this could be happening to anyone. 2. The author didn?t give the country a name because he wanted to add some mystery, and because he tried to not establish a concrete place, letting us change the story into what we want. Besides that, he didn?t set the time. As we can see, the author represented a lot of concepts with abstract images, which make the story?s mood deeper and more complete. Previously, I have mentioned the importance of social conditions and society organization as clue concepts that drive us to understanding symbolism and author?s purpose. I also talked about the setting and how it complements what the characters are living. Then I included a close look at the Father and Son relationship, and how it contributes as an important masterpiece to the novel. Finally, I described some of the stylistic features found in the book. This book is a fantastic way of noticing what humans can do under extreme conditions, and how love can motivate us when we are losing hope. ...read more.

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