AP Literature and Composition
The Road’s Question
Critic Roland Barthes states, “Literature is the question, minus the answer,” which is present within the novel ‘The Road’ by Cormac McCarthy, who depicts the story of a father and son in a post-apocalyptic world. As the novel develops and the characters grow, McCarthy’s use of imagery and symbolism help create the question of whether or not ‘humanity can survive in a world that has lost everything.’
The man and the boy attempt to find a place that is not overrun with ‘bad guys’ and journey to the south where their hope of warm weather and safety may or may not be found. On this journey, vivid images and events about the ...view middle of the document...
The boy and the man however do show their intentions of being pure and kind, “He put the boy to bed in the bunk and smoothed his filthy hair on the pillow and covered him with blankets.” They show the relationship and bond of a family which gives hope that life can be restored to it’s natural beauty and simplicity, but with the evil around them it’s hard to picture.
Hope is also a common theme within the book as seen by the boy and fire. Frequently the man says the boy carries “the fire” which is the motivation, the hope that life could be restored. The boy’s innocence and kindness are his keys to being the savior, but they are also the keys that cripple him from a destined survival. As they encounter more and more death and fear, the boy becomes more hesitant as he realizes what the world has become. The father is constantly at his lowest point, holding on only because his son gives him the power, because his son carries “the fire.” After finding the flare gun and shooting it in the air, it becomes apparent the use for it is no longer...