The Sense Of Hope In Cormac Mccarthy's The Road

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Throughout The Road by Cormac McCarthy, a sense of bleakness and despair is felt while an undertone of hope persists. After an unknown catastrophe, a father and son are left alone to walk the post apocalyptic wastes with nothing but the haunting memory of a world long gone. The novel consistently shows the bond between father and son accentuated with the stark contrast of the horrific brutality. The novel and the film both provide stunning tales of survival, but they both excel in different areas such as in character development, tone as well as theme, and, an underlying sense of hope to anchor the experience. The character of the father is shown to be a loving, and, cautious individual in the novel. In the movie, the father differs little,…show more content…
The movie departs from the sense of importance placed upon the relation between the father and son and instead placing a heavy emphasis on the absence of the mother in the face of the son who would never know the safety or joy of a world that is now lost. It is important to note that while the movie adds key scenes, it also removes them as it alters the movie’s tone/theme to fit John Hillcoat’s vision for the adaptation. “What was it? he said. What was it? The boy shook his head. ‘Oh Papa,’ he said. He turned and looked again. What the boy had seen was a charred human infant headless and gutted and blackened on a spit.” McCarthy 276. Here in the novel the true brutality of the world McCarthy has crafted is evident and just how the most innocent in society are taken advantage of by those closest to them, an infant by its mother. This particular imagery was left out of the novel leaving an overall lighter, although admittedly still dark, theme and feel. The movie is also left without a deeper feeling of existential abandonment. “He cocked the gun and aimed it out over the bay and pulled the trigger. The flare arced up into the murk with a long whoosh and broke somewhere out over the water in a clouded light and hung there. The hot tendrils of magnesium drifted slowly down the dark

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