The Road By Cormac Mccarthy Essay

The Road By Cormac Mccarthy Essay

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Cormac McCarthy manifests his novel, The Road, in a post-apocalyptic world on the east coast of the once famous America. The novel tells the simple tale of a man and a boy who must journey forward to find a way to survive in the wastelands. However, when analyzed with the techniques shown in Thomas Foster’s How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines, The Road’s complex structure in unveiled. The once simple journey transforms into a quest filled with exploitive vampires and meaningful conversations with food. The novel explores the depths of heart and strengthens the end with the parallel of the return of Jesus Christ. The concepts complete the novel as a whole and brings an interesting perspective in a cold and bleak world.
Setting out for a journey is one of the biggest indicators that the character is embarking on a quest. A quest must consist of five major points. It must include a protagonist, a destination, a reason to go there, challenges and trials, and the real reason to go to the destination. The quest endows the characters with a purpose to reach their goals and changes them through the experiences. The Road’s questline consists of the man and the boy, who are the protagonists, traveling to the coast in hope of a better survival in the apocalyptic world. They head south towards their destination where they will have to conquer many challenges on route before they arrive. While traveling down the road, the man and the boy fought, hide, and ran from bandits. In their first trial, they were threatened by a lone bandit who attempts to kill the child, but the man heroically shoots him down between the eyes (McCarthy 66). This is where they learned that they will need...


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...s the boy depends on his father for survival. The boy will always follow the man as the boy says, “I believe you. I always believe you. I have to (McCarthy 185).” The boy believes that the man will guide him and not abandon him just like how the sheep trust in their shepherd. The most notable parallel is the self-sacrificing deed and his revival on the third day. Near the end of the book, the man stops consuming food to leave more food behind for the boy’s survival since he knows that he is on his deathbed. After the father’s death, the boy stays by his father’s side for three days. Finally, the boy travels onto the road where he meets another man on the road who takes the boy under his wing. The new man says that he is a good guy and does not eat people, similar to the boy’s father. The father’s goodness is undeniably reborn in the man who appeared on the third day.

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