Filter Your Search Results:

Commentary on The Road Essay


Cormac McCarthys The Road has been labeled with many honorable titles, such as a National Best Seller, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and finally the winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 2007. Yet the question remains, what makes the book worthy of such awards? The reasoning seems to be that McCarthy brings to life a world that no one else could have ever imagined possible, but that world he created could one day ultimately become a reality. His post-apocalyptic vision brought the world as we know it back to the savage and barbaric ways we humans abandoned so long ago Thus making The Road a majestically evoking experience for its readers. There are so many books and films that try to portray the end of the world, but no other has done so as Corrmac McCarthy has.

The book is about the journey to no where unparticular taken by a father and his young son over numerous months across a landscape of what was at one time the world we live in. But in ways unknown to the reader the world was conformed into a destructed living hell. Whatever cataclysmic event took place ended up destroying most of civilization and life on earth, and what remains of human civilization now consists mainly of cannibals and their quarry. Human life was scarce and those that are left go to any extents to survive. They must spend their days trying to make it south so they can escape the freezing cold weather and perhaps a better source of food. The refugees must scavenge for any type of canned foods or other necessary supplies.

The novel describes how ash covers the earths surface, and fills the atmosphere, making the sun and moon mere objects of the imagination. McCarthy makes The Road seem like a real possibility for our future. He uses very vivid and graphic details. One particular thing that stands out in McCarthys novel is his outlandish sense of description, he creates this world so vibrantly for the audience to see, it brings you as the reader into this dark, unsightly world of destruction. Another captivating angle of The Road is how he leads his reader on with a lot of mystery. For example he never fully explains how his Armageddon came to be, but he did somewhat hint toward a nuclear explosion. The father talks of the thunderous blasts and the earth shattering feeling that took place before he became one the survivors of Armageddon. Though he still leaves a lot up to the imagination, engrossing his reader in the possible incidents that could have taken place.

In the novel it seems that McCarthy is putting an underlying emphasis on the destruction that we cause every day to our society that could eventually be a factor in the apocalyptic end of civilization. With all the pollution we place in the air with our cars, factories, and pesticides as well as the misuse of natural resources, that are not replaceable, McCarthys proposal of the end of the world could come sooner than we think. He captures the essence of the American culture so profoundly, as in the things we cherish and sometimes take for granted. For instance, in the book the father and the son are going through an average day when they stumble upon a Coca-Cola. Now to us this item is obsolete and considered nothing special, but for the father and son it was quite the treat. For the father it brought back memories of the world he used to know. For the son, well, it was nothing he had ever experienced before for he was born at the time of the apocalypse. The father opened the cola and gave it to the son telling him to savor it, because it was now a precious commodity that he may never experience again. The son was born without the luxuries most kids today take for granted. Such as toys, a home, and a regular income of food. Everything the boy knows of the world as it once was is that which his father can recollect.

McCarthy incorporated many different themes in the book as well. One of the most prominent is the break down of society and that basic and barbaric instincts are the only way of survival. If Cormac McCarthys The Road were to be the way of the world and the human race had to adopt the their old savage characteristics again could society truly make due or would we massacre ourselves because. It seems today we no longer are bred with such instincts to maintain a lifestyle without technology. With how society is in the present day that question will remain a mystery. There is so much that has been lost in human ability for adaptation to nature that it does not seem possible for the American society to survive if technology and our everyday accessories were taken away. Also the theme of trust plays a role in the novel. The most apparent issue of trust takes place between the father and the son. Throughout the book the son has to rely on his fathers wisdom in all situations, and sometimes the boy is hesitant to his fathers word, though he has no apparent reason to doubt him. There are several instances in the book where the boy and his father go to explore old, deserted houses in hopes of a meal or some supplies to get them by and the boy is scared to go inside. Though the boys father reassures him over and over again he just can not get comfortable with what his father has promised. The most influential idea that the father conveyed to his son was when they were walking and saw all the people melting into the road, turning to stone with every step they took. At that moment the father shielded his sons eyes and told him not to look. When the boy asked why the father sighed, you remember things you want to forget, and forget what you want to remember. As a reader I found that theory so true and it was an idea I had never actually acknowledged before.

So many aspects of the novel brought forth a different perspective of how the end would come, and even more of what could be done to possibly prevent it. Could we lead ourselves to our own destruction through the careless actions and unconcern that is bestowed on society? Cormac McCarthys The Road shed new light on the apocalypse, making all other texts, such as War of the Worlds, of the same genre, such as War of the Worlds, seem archaic, out dated, and unrealistic. McCarthys vibrant, innovative, and ingenious depiction the post-apocalyptic world made The Road the award winning novel it is today.

You'll need to sign up to view the entire essay.

Sign Up Now, It's FREE
Filter Your Search Results: