The Road by Cormac McCarthy and The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury Essay

The Road by Cormac McCarthy and The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury Essay

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Organisms differ in their anatomical structures, environments, habits and qualities. But a commonality that all living organisms share is the desire to survive. Survival is necessary for the continuation of any species and obviously, necessary for life. “Survival of the fittest” is a theory that was introduced by Charles Darwin, but many American novels have proven that being the “fittest” is not the only component to survival. In novels, such as The Road by Cormac McCarthy and The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury, one very important factor involved with survival is the bonds between people. William Glasser, an American psychiatrist that developed reality therapy and choice theory, stated that, “We are driven by five genetic needs: survival, love and belonging, power, freedom, and fun.” But the two novels create a bridge between survival and “love and belonging”, expressing the extent to which family and friendship inspire one’s urge to survive as well as the actions and emotions that ensue as one struggles to live.
The Road focuses on the bond between a father and his son. Throughout the novel the father states that taking care of his son “is my job”. Examples of this are after the father and son encounter the “bad guys” for the first time and as the father washes “a dead man’s brains out of his [the son’s] hair” (McCarthy 63). The father is surviving primarily for the sake of his son. He puts himself second and entirely devotes himself to the safety and well-being of his son. Had the father not had a child to take care of, he would have had little to no incentive to continue living. And as for the son, without having his father there to guide and protect him, the son would have most likely died before he was able to find othe...


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... always” (Bradbury 115) on this last day of the world. People live it as if it is any ordinary day, even though it is the last night they will experience on Earth.
While some people just accept death, others find it hard to let go of life. They want someone to blame for their own troubles or someone to provide answers and solutions to the major problems that have arisen. The plots of both The Road and The Illustrated Man have a centralized focus of destruction, but the characters look to the skies for answers, or as a source to blame. They turn to God. In both novels, the characters are portrayed to not have a strong religious background. Yet as the world comes to an end, these characters cannot help but look to God for guidance and assistance, feeling as though they are left with no other options. As if this last attempt at believing in God may help them survive.

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