Life Without Hope Analysis

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Life without hope is a journey without a compass. In The Road by Cormac McCarthy there are numerous instances that occur in which all seems lost, but in those moments hope carries through and thrives. The dystopian novel narrates the tale of a man and a boy who are trying to survive in a world where moral and order have disappeared, driving humans to commit acts of cannibalism and murder. It also shows the strong bond between an unnamed father and his son. The man’s son and the appearance of colour is the light at the end of the tunnel that allows the man to continue moving and to hope for a better future. McCarthy utilizes the boy and colour to instill moments of hope in the man’s life, which inspire the man to persevere and fight to…show more content…
With the man, he comes to a land with a brook full of fish swimming in “the amber current” (286). When the boy thought all had been lost, he discovers these species that miraculously endured the terrors. The survival of these fish exists a symbol of hope and survival for the boy. The man and the boy rely on each other for more than just survival; the father’s sole motivation to continue living is his son. He cannot leave his son to die in the world, and he cannot take his son’s life along with his own. The boy acts as a beacon of hope for the man. Given the horrific conditions, the boy remains morally right, and that inspires the father to continue to fight for both of their lives. The idea that the man and his son are “carrying the fire” is recurrent throughout the novel (83). This fire represents the hope that they hold which allows them to continue on their journey. The nights that they must sleep without a fire are marked by gloom, and whenever a fire is present the reader experiences a more sanguine mood. Often in the novel, the boy’s physical wellness is compared to a flame. In one of the scenes, the man is worrying about the weakness of his son. “He didn’t think the boy could travel much more… the stillness and the sparks rose and dimmed and died in the eternal blackness” (96). The fire dying down into “eternal blackness” is referring to the boy in danger of dying of exhaustion.
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