The Risks in The Road Essay

The Risks in The Road Essay

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Throughout The Road by Cormac McCarthy the father insists that the journey along the road is one he and his son must make alone, for trusting strangers is too risky when they have no way of knowing the good people from the bad. In my essay I will discuss if it is worth risking everything for a chance to make their lives better. I will determine this by examining the kinds of risks taken (and not taken) throughout the book, and by looking at what influenced the decision to take or not take those risks. I will conclude that the father and son must risk contact with others because it is their only hope for changing their current doomed fate.
The characters in The Road encounter various situations where they must decide if taking a risk is worth the possible reward. One of the most evident risks taken in this book is when the father and son go looking in houses for food and other supplies. When the they decide to break open the locked door in the basement of a house that appears abandoned (McCarthy 110) they discover not food, but people living as cannibals; desperate for help. In this situation the risk was most definitely not worth the reward, for they received nothing in return for this risk and nearly got themselves killed in an attempt to escape. However, not much later in the book they choose to risk the same fate when they come across another house that appears to be abandoned. This time the result is extremely positive and they acquire more food and supplies than they have seen in a very long time (McCarthy 138). Without this food the father and son would not have been able to live for very long. Although this same risk caused so much trouble the first time it was taken, it proved to be essential for survival the second time...


... middle of paper ...


... important that one is aware of how their emotions play a role in how they make decisions in a risky environment, and that they try to make those decisions as objectively as possible. In order for the father and son to continue to “carry the fire” they must find others who are making the same journey as them to share their fire with so that the fire may spread and become a greater light in the post apocalyptic world they are faced with.


Works Cited
Graupmann, Verena, Ralph Erber, and Jennifer Poe. “Affect Regulation and Decision Making: Risk as a Social Constraint.” Basic and Applied Social Psychology. 33.1 (2011): 16-23. Web.
McCarthy, Cormac. The Road. New York: Vintage International, 2006. Print.
Rambo, Shelly L. “Beyond Redemption?: Reading Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” After The End of the World.” Studies in the Literary Imagination. 41.2 (2008): 99. Web.

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