The Road

section 1 and pages 36-53

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  • Created on: 25-05-13 13:34
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The Road
{First section ­ 1-9}
Told in a 3rd person "when he woke up"
The use of the word `okay', is used a lot, could be used to reassure
themselves, but also because they are so close they do not need to
explain what they mean
It starts right in the middle ­ there is no backstory making it a mystery
into how they got into the situation. It makes it feel as if the reader is
thrown into this just like the father and the son were ­ without
knowing what happened
A shock value ­ a contrast to their and our lives
McCarthy starts the story with the man reaching out for the boy,
characterizing the man as possessive/protective over his son and that
everything the man does has an underlying motif to help and protect
the boy
McCarthy tells the Road as a linear narrative, this could be because it
means that it is much more monotonous with life all blending into 1.
There are no flashbacks reflecting how tedious their life is
McCarthy includes a dream at the start ­ about the father being in a cave
with a `translucent' monster to show because it is internalised this
highlights how he is constantly worried about the dangers, which are
external. With the man believing that everyone is bad the man seems to
be tortured at night because of this. It does perhaps represent the
nightmarish world they are living in now ­ anything can happen
When the man goes into the petrol station he lets his own personal feelings
get in the way of the scavenging and dials his fathers house showing that the
man is unstable. The boy questions him "what are you going?" which perhaps
shows a nervousness around his father as he never knows what he is going to
do next.
{Pages 36 ­ 53}
McCarthy uses the simile `reflecting back the sun deep in the darkness like a
flash of knives in a cave' this links back to the dream he had at the very start of
the book when he saw the translucent monster. The cave could represent the
feel of claustrophobia that the man and the boy are stuck in this world and
there is no escape / surface to this. McCarthy then follows this up on page 48
when using another simile to describe a burning piece of paper surrounding
dead bodies. `Like the shape of a flower' which contrasts to the horrific image of

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McCarthy creates a sense of oasis / sanctionary when at the waterfall `polished,
round and smooth as marbles' through the vivid description the setting is
created creating a sense of great beauty contrasting to the rest of the world
that surrounds them
The waterfall ­ this setting provides a refreshing break from the depressing
nature of the story
The use of direct speech `this is a good place papa, he said' gives the reader a
glimpse of a normal father and son relationship…read more


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