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Analysis Of Cormac Mccarthy 's ' The Road '

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How Effectively Does McCarthy Create a
Sense of What a Post-Apocalyptic
World Would be Like?

Cormac McCarthy creates a sense of what a post-apocalyptic society in the novel ‘The Road’. He does this by including dreams, description of the physical landscape and human behaviour. This helps create a sense of a post-apocalyptic world because it gives us insight into what it looks like and how the people think.

McCarthy uses dreams as a recurring theme throughout the text in order to create his post-apocalyptic world. The novel opens with a dream, in which the author creates a monster. The author uses dreams to create a contrast between a perfect dream world and the cold, dark terrifying world that the characters live in now. ‘Its bowels, its beating heart. The brain that pulsed in a dull glass bell’. This could be the author creating a metaphor for the horror that the characters are about to face throughout the book.

Towards the middle of the book the man says that ‘The right dreams for a man in peril were dreams of peril and all else was the call of languor and death. He dreamt of walking in a flowering wood where birds flew before them… but he was learning how to wake himself from such siren worlds… with the uncanny taste of a peach from some phantom orchard fading in his mouth…’ The father feels this because his reality and his life are so terrible, he can only have perilous dreams because if he were to have dreams that were soft, pleasant and warming then they would
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