Cormac Mccarthy The Road Analysis

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Exile, Enrichment and Being at Ease Essay on The Road By Marissa Willette English Honors Seminar Ash filled air and desolate abandoned structures that once were houses or stores scatter the road walked by one man, a father, and a boy, his son. Cormac McCarthy describes a post apocalyptic world where little is known about what happened to the rest of the world outside of the road they travel. The Road written by McCarthy shows the struggles and benefits of traveling with no prosperity, surviving only day by day and the only person you can rely on is your father(or son). The only other human interaction you receive are considered the bad guys of the story at their worst cannibalists. The two travel south to the coast not knowing of what…show more content…
Alienation and exile causes heartache, extra worries and basic needs may not be met. For children “socialization is an important process”(Tomlin) in their development. The boy did get one of the best ways to socialize, with his father, but this is the only person to with which he could express himself. He had no one to play with because survival was more important and those needs needed to be met first. In relation to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs the two never left the bottom of the hierarchy which is biological and physiological. Their needs were only about air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, and sleep. The second level is about safety; protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear(Mcleod). They hardly even made it to that level as they had to move south while they “pushed on together with the tarp pulled over them” because of “wet gray flakes twisting and falling”(16). Their shelter mostly consisted of this tarp and blankets. Although they did try to make security through having a gun but the freedom of fear was always there. On their little cart, they kept a “chrome motorcycle mirror” to “watch the road behind them”(7) as they trusted no one. The boy longed for the third step which is socialization. Readers can tell when he so badly wanted the other little boy to come along with them. He begged his father saying that he would “give that little boy half of my food” even if it meant he…show more content…
At one point in their journey the boy” stopped and put his hand on the carriage” to show that there was “ a small figure distant on the road, bent and shuffling”(161). The boy knew right away that in their time they must not trust anyone even if the figure doesn’t look harmful. The boy learned this all from his father because when the boy asked “what should we do, Papa?” he answered “ it could be a decoy” (161) and therefore all they could do was to follow. Even in this hostility the boy wants to help. This compassion and innocence of others did not last as when the new man came up to the boy he had the pistol pointed toward the man. He had grown up to know that he can not trust anyone and that he isn’t “supposed to let anyone take the pistol. No matter what”(282). Thankfully the boy did not have to use it as the man said that he doesn’t want the gun but only that he doesn’t want it pointing at him. The alienation taught him not to trust others with their stuff and to always make sure that anyone good was “carrying the fire”(283). To carry the fire meant that the person was good and trying to continue on with the world even after the destruction of it. This was very important to the boy throughout the book. Alienation and hostility may go together but the boy beat it out with his innocent

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