Hopeful Hell: The Search for Hope in a Post-Apocalyptic World Essay

Hopeful Hell: The Search for Hope in a Post-Apocalyptic World Essay

Length: 2440 words (7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Death and destruction are the epitome of a doomed world. Everything is destroyed and murders march the streets at night. Hell on earth is a gentle description. Cormac McCarthy's speculation of the end of the world, however, ensures that evil is not victorious. The biblical allusions Cormac McCarthy addresses in The Road illuminate a sense of hope in a bleak, empty world.
Despite a grim first impression, the repetitive imagery of ash represents hope according to symbolism found in the Bible. Ash becomes a natural setting, described throughout the whole book, with a seemingly melancholy mood. McCarthy introduces ash within the first pages: “Everything paling away into the murk. The soft ash blowing in loose swirls over the blacktop” (McCarthy 4). Normally, the connotations of ash create a dark gloomy atmosphere. McCarthy's intentional diction in this passage, however, create an opposing mood. The phrases “soft ash” and “loose swirls” create a relaxed image, allowing the ash to be interpreted in a hopeful manner. This hopefulness is enforced by the symbolism of ash in the Bible. After Adam and Eve committed the first sin, God warns them of his power, “For dust you are and to dust you will return” (Genesis 3:19). First of all, this verse exemplifies the great power of God. He created the complex human body out of mere dust. In relation to The Road, the ash represents the presence of a great power. This brings hope to the father and the son, knowing that the ability to create something out of the ash exists.
Similarly, the concept of fire found throughout the novel, although serving as a representation of destruction, sheds light on the underlying theme of hope. We are led to believe, through various descriptions, that the world w...


... middle of paper ...


...” describes the world as a puzzle to be solved. The answer is not easily deciphered, but rather is a learning experience. Secondly, the “thing which could not be put back” is the customs of the old world. The images of the old world and their meanings fade away, as the world fades away itself (Schaub). These things cannot “be made right again”. The meaning of the world is not gone. It just changed (Kunsa). The world is left with a “hum of mystery”, a place full of possibility and potential. This last paragraph brings hope to the future, and promises for a better world.
Through many biblical allusions, the father and the son experience the affects of hope. Despite the destroyed world, they come together to survive the post apocalyptic world. The “good guys” bring hope for the future and for the defeat of evil. Promise and prospect will guide the new, hopeful world.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Apocalyptic Movies : What The Future Tells Us About Today Essay

- Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic movies are a sub-genre of science fiction, horror fiction, or fantasy that focus on the end of the world, or the world just after "the end." But, where do the influences of these movies come from. Every good apocalyptic film that we know and love stems off of the fear and concerns that revolved around the time it was made. Steven Glawson provides a strong quote that parallels to my research in the article, “Post-Apocalyptic Cinema: What The Future Tells Us About Today” saying that, “[s]ince the 1950s, post- apocalyptic films can be seen as gateways into the crises of the decade they were made in....   [tags: Nuclear weapon, Cold War, World War II]

Powerful Essays
1548 words (4.4 pages)

The World as a Wasteland in Post-Apocalyptic Literature Essay

- For years, post-modern writers have foreshadowed what the end of the world would look like through dramatic representations in literary works. Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and Margaret Atwood’s novel, Oryx & Crake, are no exception to this. Delving into the complexities that underlie man’s existence on Earth, these authors use their novels as vehicles to depict a post-apocalyptic world, in which all that once was is reduced to an inconceivable wasteland, both figuratively and literally. From the beginning, McCarthy establishes a stage for his readers with a beautifully worded yet painstakingly morose description of the wasteland in which his characters occupy: “Nights dark beyond darkness and...   [tags: Literary Analysis]

Powerful Essays
1869 words (5.3 pages)

Post- Apocalyptic World in Cromas McCarthy´s The Road Essay

- The Road by Cormac McCarthy conveys a vision of the author of the post-apocalyptic world, where human nature is revealed in its extreme. In such a situation, the author explores the essence of human nature and juxtaposes primary instincts of humans to superior human values, even in the savage world, where there seems to be no place for humanism/human ideals. At the same time, the author portrays the supremacy of humanism and human values over primary instincts even when we struggle for survival....   [tags: human, natural, level]

Powerful Essays
1431 words (4.1 pages)

Wicca, the Apocalypse, and the Future of the Natural World. Essay

- According to Haviland, Kilmurray, Fedorak and Lee (2013), religion is universal across cultures, and it serves several purposes for humankind, both psychological and social. It meets human needs by explaining the unknown, promoting group membership, denoting right from wrong, and absolving accountability for individuals by placing responsibility on god(s). In recent years, however, interest in mainstream religions has declined. In its place, Haviland et al. (2013) explain that there has been a resurgence of pagan religions, now referred to as neo-paganism....   [tags: Christianity, Islam, Judaism]

Powerful Essays
1440 words (4.1 pages)

Essay on The Road Is A Post Apocalyptic Film Directed By John Mccarthy

- Dystopian fiction is a critique of contemporary society based on the extrapolation a characteristic and conveying the consequences of its full expression, serving as a positive warning against excess. The Road is a post-apocalyptic film directed by John Hillcoat, based on the novel by John McCarthy which positions the audience to speculate the virulent implications of economic globalisation and capitalism arising from the Industrial Revolution. The film exposes the dark psychological depths of the human condition in surrendering to impulses, at the same time exploring the role of morality in the hope of restoring civilisation....   [tags: Natural environment, Environmentalism, Capitalism]

Powerful Essays
1317 words (3.8 pages)

Preserving Humanity in Post Apocolyptic Novels Essay

- We live in a society obsessed with the future, consumed with the desires to achieve success or have great wealth. The harsh reality of the American dream is that the goals that we set so high for ourselves will really never prepare us for the trials of tomorrow. This idea was brought up time and time again in post-apocalyptic and dystopian works; they depict an image that only plagues the nightmares of the privileged people of today. Will an apocalypse turn these dreams into reality. What will come of society....   [tags: dystopia, society, knowledge]

Powerful Essays
1377 words (3.9 pages)

Fatheral Love In Cormac Mccarthy's The Road Essay

- In order for a child to live in a complete and happy family, the paternal love plays a major role in a life, especially the love of a father which is much more important than a mother’s love for a child. Moreover, a father’s love is one of the greatest influences on the child’s personality development throughout his/her life. A father’s love brings a sense of protection of security in a child. In the novel The Road, Cormac McCarthy presents the great example of paternal love. The novel deals with a post-apocalyptic story about an unnamed man and his unnamed child as they move toward the south to find a better place to live after the catastrophic event....   [tags: Apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction, Family]

Powerful Essays
1622 words (4.6 pages)

Google 's World, We Just Search Essay example

- “It’s Google’s world, we just search in it” We live in a world that is fundamentally run by the internet. We use it every day, multiple times in a variety of ways. We use it to keep up to date with the latest news, to watch movies and shows, to listen to music, do research for our latest assignment and even to simply search the freshest topic our mind is wandering off to. Google is there to help with all of that. Google is a search engine that was created in September 1998 by two Ph.D. students at the University of Stanford (Google, 2014)....   [tags: Google, Google search, Web search engine]

Powerful Essays
877 words (2.5 pages)

Suzanne Collins and The Hunger Games Essay

- One of the greatest things that keep our world running is not the things we can see however the things we can conceptualize. As the world continues to progress, people widely undermine the concept of imagination. Authors like Suzanne Collins keep the concept of imagination alive by sparking ideas that could influence the world prodigiously from such vivid sources. As Susan Collins continues her work in the field of literature, her work continues to emphasize her personal family influences, influences from the idea of war, the importance that reading is for all ages, and the importance of hope in her writing....   [tags: Post-Apocalyptic, Author]

Powerful Essays
647 words (1.8 pages)

Essay about The Extinction Event and Life in the Post-Apocalyptic Greenhouse

- The Extinction Event and Life in the Post-Apocalyptic Greenhouse The biggest mass extinction of the past 600 million years (My), the end-Permian event (251 My ago), witnessed the loss of as much as 95% of all species on Earth. Key questions for biologists concern what combination of environmental changes could possibly have had such a devastating effect, the scale and pattern of species loss, and the nature of the recovery. New studies on dating the event, contemporary volcanic activity, and the anatomy of the environmental crisis have changed our perspectives dramatically in the past five years....   [tags: Exploratory Essays Research Papers]

Free Essays
840 words (2.4 pages)