Symbolism In The Road By Cormac Mccarthy

Decent Essays
Literature is a door that opens to an author’s past experiences and emotions. Every impactful moment that an author experiences will sneak its way into the pages of the texts. In the novel, The Road written by Cormac McCarthy, many of the events taken place correlates with poignant points of his life. “The boy” and “The man/ papa” set forth on a journey to find a home, a simple most mundane thing which, in their case is an impervious destination. Each day went by and “the boy” and “The man/papa” constantly moved mile after mile trying to fulfill their desires for a dwelling. This same craving is found in McCarthy’s life as he traveled from one place to another due to his father's work. Because McCarthy never settled in an area for a…show more content…
He was raised as a roman catholic therefore, a strict image of God and God’s plan was implemented within his thoughts. Because he was exposed to God at such a young age and for many years, he has incorporated God into his novel multiple times. The man/ papa states, ““Where men can't live God's fare no better.” (19). McCarthy questions the role of God in a society where men don’t even play roles. All hope in God has died within the hearts of people like “the men”. They justify that there is no God with the way that they are living, and with being afraid to wake up everyday cause the next source of food or water is unknown. The boy questions, “ ‘What's the bravest thing you ever did?’ He spat in the road a bloody phlegm. ‘Getting up this morning, he said.’ ” (37) The people are able to question the role of God because the bravest thing they do is wake up every morning, and if there was a God, that fear should not have existed. If McCarthy had not been religious and had not gone to catholic school, or participated in the Roman Catholic rite, there would be a very low chance of God appearing within the novel. However since God has played immense role in his life, McCarthy chose to insert God into a role within his…show more content…
The life of “the boy” and “the man/papa” has become a journey overall to find a home, one they can settle down on and not worry about the next source of food or water. By applying Thomas C. Foster’s literary criticism How To Read Literature Like A Professor into the context of The Road it is clearly evident that the journey the boy and the man/papa is on, is a quest. “A quest, consisting of five key aspects “(a) quester,(b) a place to go,(c) a stated reason to go there, (d) challenges and trials en route, and (e) a real reason to go there” (3) The boy and the man/papa are the questors, who are craving to find the remaining good people in the world. They’re journey is filled with obstacles presented by the thieves and “bad guys” who are initially the cannibals. However as they surpass each obstacle, as they find a new source for food, and as they find shelter for the night, they grow as a person, especially the boy who has to witness only evil within the human heart. Their goal is an undefined location, but the journey becomes more important, and the roads become the platform of their challenges. As the boy and the man carry forth with their journey, the fear of the corruption of the world enveloping them exists. As the boy tells, “Are we still the good guys? he said. [The Man:] Yes. We're still the good guys.[The Boy:] And we always will be.[The Man:] Yes. We always will be. [The Boy:] Okay.”(McCarthy 120). Because the journey to the destination held so many
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