Cormac McCarthy's The Road and Michael Bay's The Island Essays

Cormac McCarthy's The Road and Michael Bay's The Island Essays

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The two dystopian texts, The Road is written by Cormac McCarthy and The Island directed by Michael Bay are great examples of a dystopian world. The Road is a post-apocalyptic novel where a father and son have nothing but the dirty clothes on their backs, a pistol and a cart filled with scavenged items. Their destination, the coast, although they don’t know if anything awaits them there. The Island is an advanced world where clones of “real” people are made in order to help their clients live longer. These two mediums are fairly similar once you go in depth. The two works, The Road and The Island have common dystopian characteristics which are the use of brute force, alienation and dehumanization of individuals which is reflected in terms of plot, character development and theme.

The use of brute force is significantly reflected through plot in both these works. In The Island when the clones, Lincoln Six Echo and Jordan Two Delta escape from the facility it is very clear that the use of brute force is necessary to get them back. Similarly in The Road the use of force is expected in order to protect themselves from other strangers. “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” (McCarthy, pg.66). To clarify, the father and son had to use whatever force was necessary to survive, even if it meant killing. There are other examples of this dystopian characteristic in both these texts; for example, in The Island when the clones win “the lottery” Lincoln Six Echo witnesses the harvesting of the clones’ organs. The scene when Sharkweather, played by Michael Clarke Duncan wins “the lottery” and is dragged down a b...


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...s due to the fact that they want to live. “Run, he whispered. Run. He looked back. The truck had rumbled into view” (McCarthy, pg.61). Thus proving that the characters where extremely frightened from others. In the same way, the movie is identical, once Lincoln Six Echo and Jordan Two Delta escaped from the compound they were told that “people will do anything to live” (The Island). The “products” were forced to take more precautions to stay alive; they started to not trust anyone. From this, there is a theme that can be created which is that one can still have faith.

The theme for this dystopian characteristic is this; one can still have faith even when they don’t have a whole lot to be hopeful for.


Works Cited

The Island. Dir. Michael Bay. DreamWorks Home Entertainment, 2005.
McCarthy, Cormac. The Road. Toronto, Canada: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006. Print.

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